Stretching from the close of World War I to immediately after the Depression, the Harlem Renaissance was a time of glorious artistic freedom and ...Show synopsisStretching from the close of World War I to immediately after the Depression, the Harlem Renaissance was a time of glorious artistic freedom and intellectual collaboration between black artists and white bohemians of Greenwich village. In his masterful and fascinating study of this era, Lewis takes a daring look at what was considered to be a successful utopian effort at assimilating and validating black culture in white America. photos.Hide synopsis
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Dr. David Lewis has a knack for capturing the spirit and embodiment of the early 20th century in black America. Read his dual-volume W.E.B. Du Bois biographies if you need proof of this. It's like he spent every waking day with the scholar, as opposed to a few minutes in his youth.
With "When Harlem Was In Vogue," Lewis does the same thing. He turns the Harlem Renaissance and 1910s-1930s Harlem itself from his research subject to his experience. He tells the stories of Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Alain Locke, Zora Neale Hurston, Claude McKay and countless others in depth and how they intertwined and formed what we now call the "Harlem Renaissance." Away from these "New Negroes", Lewis also does a fine job establishing the moods present at the time, from weariness to racial oppression to radicalism on part of Marcus Garvey and certain artists of the period.
Great read, but - with Lewis "being there" and all - it gets a bit wordy...like this review.
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