The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual and cultural revival of African American music, dance, art, fashion, literature, theater and politics centered in Harlem in New York City in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Watch the video above to learn about the Harlem Renaissance and read a couple poems below by Langston Hughes, a poet who was part of it.

From Poetry.org:

Harlem

What happens to a dream deferred?

       Does it dry up
       like a raisin in the sun?
       Or fester like a sore—
       And then run?
       Does it stink like rotten meat?
       Or crust and sugar over—
       like a syrupy sweet?

       Maybe it just sags
       like a heavy load.

       Or does it explode?

I, Too

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.

Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

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