Harlem Renaissance research.doc

Most of the figures well known as part of the harlem

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initially. “Most of the figures well known as part of the Harlem Renaissance were men: W.E.B. DuBois, Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes are names known to most serious students of American history and literature today” says Jone Johnson Lewis of About.com. There were women who have contributed just as much but they are more behind the scenes than in the forefront. When they were in the front their works had a different style and audience since they “not addressed not only race issues, but gender issues, too: what it was like to live as a black woman. Some addressed cultural issues of "passing" or expressed the fear of violence or the barriers to full economic and social participation in American society” (2). Writer and educator Jesse Fauset edited the literary section of “The Crisis” magazine that was published by the NAACP. She also hosted gatherings for “the black intellectuals of Harlem: artists, thinkers, writers” (Lewis 2). In Washington, D.C. Georgia Douglas Johnson’s ““freewheeling jumbles” were Saturday night “happenings” for black writers and artists in that city” (2). Ethel Ray Nance Regina Anderson hosted gatherings at their home in New York City. Regina also arranged events at the Harlem public library where she was the assistant librarian. “These women were integral
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ENG 201 3 parts of the Harlem Renaissance for these roles they played and as organizers, editors, decision- makers, they helped publicize, support and thus shape the movement” (2). Two important women writers, Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Dunbar- Nelson, were both featured in the article “When Lost Voices Speak” by Joanne Braxton. The article talks about their lives and careers in separate sections but they are both featured because people “were hard at work revising and expanding [the] understanding of the autobiography tradition of black American women” (Braxton 6). Alice Dunbar-Nelson was often compared to Hurston, because like Hurston her “intellectual gifts, her swagger, her strong tongue, her tendency to be full and to the front with her opinions - these drew derision from her contemporaries and made it difficult for her to find work equal to her talents” (7). Zora Neal Lee Hurston was born on January 15, 1891 in Notasulga, Alabama. She was one of eight children in the family, the sixth child and second daughter. Her parents were Lula Potts Hurston (a seamstress) and John Hurston carpenter by trade and he began pasturing at a church in Sanford, Fla. Her and her family moved to Eatonville, Florida where she grew up and shortly after that her mother passed away on September 19, 1904. This was a turning point in Zora’s life, her father has remarried a younger woman and the children were disbursed among family members. She lived with her oldest brother for a while and she worked as a waitress at a few jobs. By 1917 she was in Baltimore working by day and in night school at Morgan Academy.
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