A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill. Little, Brown and Company, 2003.
If you've been reading African American biographies and histories focusing on slavery and civil rights this month, and are ready to read a little farther, you ought to check out this book. If you've never heard of the Harlem Renaissance you need to read it. In the forward by Nikki Giovanni we read, "One of the most exciting periods in American history, if not in the history of the world, is the Harlem Renaissance. In the early part of the twentieth century, Harlem was a hotbed of intellectual, artistic, literary, and political blossoming for Black people."
Starting in 1900 and stretching over the next 35 years, this volume highlights the struggles, innovations, celebrations and achievements of Black Americans in and around Harlem, New York. The opening section documents the violent and oppressive climate in America at the turn of the last century, setting the stage for northern migration and the rise of Black creative energy. In music, literature, visual arts, movies, social life and political organization these communities broke through to a new arena.
This book is a delight for middle school and high school students and adults who've heard the names of these great Americans and are interested in seeing where they came from, what they accomplished and how they emerged. Supported with time lines, background information, news articles, playbills, photographs and quotes from the major players. It is colorful, engaging and fascinating to read. This book should be at hand for browsing, shared reading, reference and enjoyment.
Laban Hill on JacketFlap
Visit Anastasia Suen at Picture Book of the Day for her Nonfiction round up today.