Talk:Harlem Renaissance

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Former featured article candidate Harlem Renaissance is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
February 21, 2005 Featured article candidate Not promoted
December 20, 2005 Good article nominee Listed
May 15, 2006 Good article reassessment Delisted
Current status: Former featured article candidate

Apollo Theater?[edit]

I do not understand why the Apollo Theater is mentioned in this article. The theater did not open under this name until 1934. Until then it was Hurtig and Seamon's New (Burlesque) Theater, a white owned venue that did not feature performances by African Americans, and had no connection to the Harlem Renaissance. Stephensyd (talk) 05:41, 21 August 2011 (UTC)


Because this was an artistic happening, shouldn't there be a picture that summerizes the movement? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:30, 20 March 2007

I've found a lovely little documentary short on the Prelinger archives, which I've added. The frame that's been automatically selected to illustrate the video shows Richmond Barthé and seems to do the summarizing bit very well. --Simon Speed (talk) 00:58, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

Second paragraph needs revision[edit]

The first sentence could use finesse, as Harlem during this time was a ghetto, in the sense of being separated from white areas of the city, but readers familiar with history might think of ghetto in the contemporary sense (economically stagnant and run down), versus the thriving community of independent businesses, middle class neighborhoods, etc. that it was. Perhaps linking to the wiki page on "ghetto" might be helpful:

The content and the syntax of the second sentence of the paragraph doesn't make any sense: "This movement created an increased the unoriginal culture of African Americans and broadened African American expression." Was the original sentence meant to read something like "This movement created an increased pride in the original culture of African Americans and broadened African American expression"? This sentence really needs to be fixed, as it currently conveys the exact opposite of what happened during this movement.

Trimat 21:32, 7 March 2007 (UTC)Trimat

Massive Edit: 19 November 2004[edit]

I have kept my eye on this page for several weeks, feeling that such a great period like the Harlem Renaissance served a significantly better article than has been languishing around here for more than a year. So, I took it upon myself to rewrite the article.

What I'm intending to do with this article is explore the roots of Harlem and its cultural explosion, describe the culture and the times it in which it was created, its decline, and examine its lasting effect on American culture and society today. I also intend to put a few good pictures up, chiefly of the prime movers and some of the art work they produced.

Quite a lot for an encyclopedia article, but it can and will be done—and it should have been done long ago. Hope you like what I do with the place. —ExplorerCDT 23:46, 19 Nov 2004 (UTC)

  • UPDATE: Article text done as of now 21NOV04. Pictures to follow later this evening. —ExplorerCDT 20:55, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)
I've looked over the history and it appears that ExplorerCDT's edit introduced many of the copyright problems of this article. Compare's version of the encarta page from a week before Explorer made his edit. It was definitely copied over from there. I'm reverting to the last version before ExplorerCDT edited the article, and any reuse of subsequently added content should be checked for copyright violations before being included. Night Gyr 04:17, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Leroy Jones[edit]

The article had Leroy Jones listed under the 'Dance' category, but the link was pointing to Leroy Jones, a trumpet player from New Orleans. I wanted to disambiguate the Leroy Jones on this page, but I didn't know if he was a dancer or a choreographer; I was unable to find any information about this particular Leroy Jones on Google. So I just removed the name, as it was liable to cause some confusion; if someone knows what the dance-related Leroy Jones was known for, could you please add him back in. - squibix 18:57, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Comments moved from main article[edit]

However, what emerges as a chief criticism of the Harlem Renaissance is that while African-American culture became absorbed into the mainstream American culture, a strange separation emerged of the Black community from American culture. As African-Americans with roots in this country dating to beginning of the North American slave trade in the early 17th Century, their worldview is distinctly native. Blacks, unlike other immigrants, had no immediate past, history and culture to celebrate as they were separated by generations from their roots in Africa. Some would argue that the positive implications of American nativity have never been fully appreciated by most African-Americans, especially given that the African-American's history and culture is, arguably, more completely American than most other ethnic groups within the United States.

this whole paragraph is deeply offensive,
Well that's just the problem with discussing the behavior and abilities of blacks-in-general, isn't it? INDIVIDUALS can be (and frequently are) arbitrarily intelligent and capable. But AS A GROUP, compared to other groups, the truth is offensive. So it's suppressed. But because the offensive things remain true, everyone has to adapt by, for instance, giving blacks free points on SAT tests and special easy classes in college. Soon the pendulum swings the other way because the bizarre adaptations and manifest lies themselves become offensive.
It's really very humorous to disinterested observers who have taken to calling your attitude "liberal creationism", because it is the same deliberate blindness and denial of the obvious which is famous for being practiced by creationists.
Whites and Asians evolved from blacks. Everybody agrees with that. Nobody disagrees with it. As measured by two dozen MRI studies by different, unrelated, unquestionably legitimate research labs, blacks' brains are, on the average, 5 percent smaller than whites' and 6 percent smaller than Asians'.
That explains the IQ difference and the blacks' primitive behavior.
Now get over it. TechnoFaye Kane 22:00, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
and needs review: "a strange separation emerged" slavery and incredible racism was the cause of that separation. blacks flourished nonetheless and this author seeks to criticize them for that. please, any sane minded decent individual will remove this paragraph. "blacks, unlike other immigrants, had no immediate past, history and culture to celebrate" please, this is very painful to read. i think in this millenium we would be above this sort of disgusting drivel. please reread the quote. how does this make sense! i think it is a wonder, that the past, culture, maybe less so history, of these people survived american slavery(one of the most heinous acts to ever go down in human history, never to be forgotten). "the positive implications of American nativity have never been fully appreciated by most African-Americans" here, sadly, i think the purpose of this paragraph becomes most clear. the heading is 'Criticism of the movement', now reread this paragraph, and ask, honestly, how anything in this paragraph is a criticism of the movement. the previous ones, were great, and they brought up really amazing points. but this one just seems to be a reaction to the development of black cultural pride, his chief criticism at that. given the context of this brutal nation, esp. then, it seems odd that celebration of black culture would be inherently worthy of criticism. i hope my comments help balance this otherwise beautiful article. thank you —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

Delisted GA[edit]

Delisted due to copyright problems. See GA Disputes for more info. Tarret 02:10, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

It is quite good though[edit]

The articles and details have important information. But it lacks a little bit of "The impact of harlem renaissance" There might be some information about the economy, changing some whites' attitude, blacks' pride and etc. Anyway, thanks for typing a good article

One other writer/activist is W.E.B. Du Bois

Proper name?[edit]

Is Harlem Renaissance a proper name? If not, I guess the R should not be capitalised - Harlem renaissance. // Habj 09:18, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

It is. Night Gyr 13:12, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Added more personalities to the list. Lists suffered from being to specific to the point of being exclusive, corrected this to be more inclusive. Moreover, correct name is Harlem Renaissance-- all capts at beginning of each word. 23:14, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

I think this article was very good. it certainly was one of my main resourses for my essay! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:28, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

Article Clean Up[edit]

I resubmitted a new article for Harlem Renaissance. As with the case of the article on the Lost Generation, I made an effort to be general for better clarity and analysis.TonyCrew 09:52, 5 June 2006 (UTC)

Updated "Category" and added book to "Reference" for citations172.161.105.147 03:51, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Language Clean Up[edit]

The nomenclature throughout the article is, at best, erratic and inconsistent, and at worst, clueless. In specific, the use of the word "negro" should be properly marked in its historical usages/contexts and not reiterated outside of that context. In other words, the article should make more consistent use of the more contemporaneous "African American" or "black" to describe racial identity when the reference is narrating the history of African Americans. The use of "Negro" should be relegated to quotation and institution name only. The use of "negro" as it exists carelessly through the article now reads as anachronistic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:39, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

here's some in-house grounds: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:42, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Capitalization Issue

Actually, I just went in and capitalized "Negro," and that marks my first edit of Wikipedia. I am around 70 years of age and have seen the use of various labels to what we now refer to as African-Americans in the United States. The word "Negro" is somewhat outmoded and very few Americans use it except a few people my age. But it was the accepted term until the 1960s. It was always capitalized by careful writers of American English. Oddly enough, the terms "black," used to refer to African-Americans, and "white," used to refer to European-Americans are not generally capitalized in Standard American English. I generally would find the term "Negro" a bit jarring except when used to describe historical phenomena such as the Harlem Renaissance, which was such an important part of American culture.

By Alan OldStudent, June 18, 2010, 2:19 a.m., Pacific Daylight Savings Time.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Alan OldStudent (talkcontribs) 09:21, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

New Beginning?[edit]

Below is a new beginning I created. It has less important facts removed.

In 1917, America entered into World War I. Thousands of men poured out of the country to go overseas to the battlefront. Due to the new vacancies in the North, nearly 5 millionAfrican Americans moved out of the racist South in what would later become called the Great Migration. They brought with them music such as jazz and the blues, as well as language, food, mannerisms, religion, and the very soul of African American tradition. A major portion of New York-bound African Americans wound up in Harlem, a neighborhood in the city. Thus the Harlem Renaissance began.

Th Harlem Renaissance was also dubbed the New Negro Movement by Alain Locke. It was a period of cultural growth and development. Blacks artistically displayed their talents and expressed their world view through art, music, and literature. For the first time in United States history, they were proud to be black. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:05, April 30, 2007

It's good for the beginning of the second section, but not the lede. The first sentence should be declarative: "The Harlem Renaissance is ..." or "The Harlem Renaissance refers to ..." — Malik Shabazz | Talk 01:34, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

I rewrote the introduction to be concise and definitive. I think that talking about the roots of the Harlem Renaissance lying in the Great Migration is not necessary for the intro. That can be expounded in the body of the article.

I think this whole article should be revisited for structure and grammar. The flow of concepts is very choppy. 05:51, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Lists of names in article[edit]

I don't understand why some people are included in the lists of names in the article, because I don't think they had anything to do with the Harlem Renaissance.


  • John T. Biggers was born in 1924, which means that he was not yet a teenager when the Harlem Renaissance ended in the mid-30s
  • Roy DeCarava was born in 1919, which means he was also probably too young to have participated in the Renaissance
  • Carl Van Vechten was a patron of the Harlem Renaissance, but he was white, and describing him as "part" of the Renaissance is questionable


  • Louis Armstrong was associated with New Orleans and Chicago, not New York. According to his article, he visited New York in 1924 and 1929
  • James Reese Europe died in 1919
  • W. C. Handy may have lived in New York, but he has never been associated with New York's Black culture
  • Oscar Micheaux had no connection with New York that I know of
  • Jelly Roll Morton was associated with New Orleans and Chicago, not New York, even though he lived in New York for five years or so. His article describes the poor regard in which his New York recordings are held relative to his Chicago recordings
  • Ma Rainey had no connection with New York that I know of
  • Bessie Smith had no connection with New York that I know of

If somebody can explain the connection between these artists and the Harlem Renaissance, great. Otherwise, I would like to remove them. — Malik Shabazz | Talk 04:37, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

The Harlem Renaissance extends beyond Harlem and often times refers to the more broad movement of African American art, music, and literature in the 1920s. For this reason, these entertainers are considered part of the Harlem Renaissance. (Whip It On Jim 05:12, 17 May 2007 (UTC))

More Incongruities[edit]

New Info[edit]

I updated some stuff but then I had to leave. Anybody else can pick up where I left off. There appears to be a lot of missing work from the comments here and elsewhere. I am going to put it in a catogory tonight. Okay, I put it in the Cultural Movement Catogory. I do not sign my name. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:51, May 8, 2007

Reinventing the wheel...[edit]

this diff of the article from Feb. 2005 was substantially better than the article is now. Let's try and salvage some of this older text and formatting! -- phoebe/(talk) 07:39, 25 August 2007 (UTC)

I added Langston Hughes as one of the authors during this time frame. I can't believe he was left off! He was one of the most prominent and influential of the Harlem Renaissance writers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:37, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Older versions are indeed much better! I've made a new start on the article, but it's a bit of a mess now. It would be a good idea to incorporate elements from the older version you mention. Fairlane75 22:55, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 04:05, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

Name of book[edit]

The title of Claude McKay's novel should be "Home to Harlem" NOT "Home to Harems" as it is listed under "Criticism" section. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:22, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I will check into that fact. Bearian (talk) 22:24, 14 February 2008 (UTC)

I believe I found a proper reference to cite this article.[edit]

I am just a high school student, and I have no knowledge of how to properly edit Wikipedia, but I assume that I can post my comment here without unintentionally ruining the article.

I am doing a project on the Harlem Renaissance, and I've noticed that a lot of what is said on this page is very similar to what I have found on this site, not word for word but follows the same format and all.

Once again I apologize if this is in the wrong spot, but whomever sees this, please look into it to see if I am correct. Thanks

Opening sentence[edit]

"The Harlem Renaissance was named after the anthology The New Negro, edited by Alain Locke in 1925."

is it just me, or does this not quite make sense? Was 'Harlem Renaissance' a phrase used by Locke in his book (in which case this should be made clear)? Or was 'The New Negro' an alternative label for the Harlem Renaissance? Can someone with more in-depth knowledge than me please clarify, or delete the sentence. AuntFlo (talk) 04:01, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

What happened?[edit]

It appears someone copied a list from MSN Encarta of works done in the renaissance era. Can an admin approve this and roll back the revision, he/she seems to have completely destroyed the old article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Actually, no. I tagged the text of the article as looking like Encarta. AFAIK the list is fine, which is why I haven't removed it - but without the text, the list is basically useless. ~user:orngjce223 how am I typing? 03:56, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

But you replaced the text of the original article, did you not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:03, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

  • I looked at the Encarta article. Portions of this article were copied verbatim, but they were relatively small sections. I'm not familiar with the rules in these situations. Can I restore the previous language minus the COPYVIO portions? — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 04:05, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
  • Just remember not to reintroduce any content that was either the copyright violation or derived from it in any way. (A derivative work, which in Wikipedia's case is the copyrighted content with subsequent edits made to it, is as much a copyright violation as copying the original is.) Be very careful of any edit history between the non-infringing revision and the rollback. If you have any doubt at all, write new content in your own words. I cannot stress enough how careful one has to be in touching that edit history in any way. Uncle G (talk) 23:56, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
    • Thank you. Fortunately, the COPYVIO material was relatively isolated from the rest of the content. The post-COPYVIO edits I restored were not related to the COPYVIO material. — Malik Shabazz (talk · contribs) 02:52, 8 April 2009 (UTC)

George McGuire entry[edit]

Hello, I think that George Alexander McGuire should be added somewhere in this article. Unless I missed it I do not see him anywhere. He was an earlier associate of Marcus Garvey, and the founder of the African Orthodox Church, whose strongest base was in NYC, and which became established in several countries as it grew in the period 1924-1934, the last decade of McGuire's life. Cheers, ΙΣΧΣΝΙΚΑ-888 (talk) 03:32, 17 September 2009 (UTC)

This article does not deal with a major focus and thread in the Harlem Renaissance: namely communism and socialism. The center piece of most of the poetry and prose of these artists was just that. There seems to be a new political correctness directive which sweeps all references to communism and socialism from black history. Why is that? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

Paragraph split?[edit]

The body of this section, titled “An explosion of culture in Harlem,” is more focused on music than the artistic culture as a whole. Maybe the article ought to be split into two? I just feel as if it would be easier for passers-by to quickly identify new music and other artistic progressions that came about through this movement with the two separate headers. Just my thoughts; maybe you have a different opinion?

J matula (talk) 02:37, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

William Count Basie[edit]

The Harlem Renaissance was an negro move meant witch African Americans expressed their selves through their music,art,poetry,and positive influences. William count Basie took an huge part in the Harlem renaissance through his music his music was an inspiration to many people and helped them threw the tough times. William was one of the first people to lead a swing group then soon after that came up with his on sound which some bands started to take his idea. In some orchestras you will still hear this style of play that just show some of the things William did to help people get through the great depression. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:38, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

"An explosion of culture in Harlem" section[edit]

The first paragraph has a typo or something that needs fixing ... There's a quote or reference out of place here: "They rejected the stereotypes of the blackface and minstrel show traditions. James Weldhistory of the Negro in the American Theatre." —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:10, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It's been fixed. — Malik Shabazz Talk/Stalk 20:51, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

"Harlem Renaissance" is a misnomer[edit]

I know that's the popular term but "renaissance" means "rebirth". The Renaissance in Italy, for example, was a "rebirth" of civilization that had been moribund, or at least not as inventive, since ancient Rome. But in Harlem there was no "birth". Hence, no "rebirth". This should be pointed out, at least parenthetically. (talk) 22:37, 5 September 2011 (UTC)captcrisis

If you don't like it, write a book. I think the term is misleading, but it's not a misnomer. Define your terms. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:30, 29 July 2014 (UTC)


Does anyone have any idea what the deal is with the claim that the 1871 Klan act was denounced by black congressmen? Nothing is offered to support it, and the only source provided that does address the act is a collection of speeches by black congressmen arguing in favor of the bill, but it's been in the article for years. I don't want to remove it without putting something else in its place, though, since it would kind of ruin the flow of that sentence. - (talk) 18:20, 6 June 2016 (UTC)