Article

Harlem Modernisms

Jonathan W. Gray

in The Oxford Handbook of Modernisms

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199545445
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199545445.013.0014

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Harlem Modernisms

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This article examines the relationship between the Harlem Renaissance and modernism. It suggests that African Americans' modernity can be considered as having emerged as a reaction to the brutal exploitation black Americans endured in the South after the civil war. In this perspective, African Americans are modern by circumstance and inclination, if not by social standing and education. However, this view is complicated by the fact that there were also African Americans who possessed the more typical modern outlook produced by university education and cosmopolitan experience, including lain LeRoy Locke and James Weldon Johnson.

Keywords: Harlem Renaissance; modernism; African Americans; modernity; civil war; university education; cosmopolitan experience; Iain LeRoy Locke; James Weldon Johnson

Article.  7058 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (20th Century onwards) ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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