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Harlem Renaissance Research Papers

A Literature Research Paper will address the theme in The Harlem Renaissance. The current status of racism will be centered upon as the paper concludes. Custom term papers are Paper Masters specialty. The thesis statement and topic you see here is just a sample of what we can provide you in research. Papers are always original and we guarantee each research paper, essay, book report or term paper that is sold by Paper Masters will never be resold and is plagiarism-free.

Thematic Elements of the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance

This is an analytical research papers that examines some thematic aspects of The Harlem Renaissance. The term paper should deal with some aspects relating to theme of the drama, poetry, or story of the Harlem Renaissance. The essay should focus on class within the Harlem Renaissance (i.e. elite vs. poor or working-class).  Address the following points in the term paper: 

  1. Tension(s) among the classes, refer to W.E.B DuBois' the "talented tenth", Marcus Garvey's UNIA (and any other political figure of that time)
  2. Discuss writers, poets, novelists, etc. that wrote for either (or both) classes
  3. Did the Harlem Renaissance represent everyone or was it an elitist movement
  4. Who did the movement appeal to and how
  5. If the Harlem Renaissance was an elitist movement did that lead to its demise?
  6. How did the movement affect future African American artists in America, discuss the current state of America (race relations, class, economy, etc.).

Harlem Renaissance Research

The element of social class played a significant role in the development and ultimately the decline of the Harlem Renaissance. This assertion is supported in a number of ways, primary of which is the evidence of an identifiable chasm between middle class African Americans and their poor or working class counterparts during the Harlem Renaissance. In fact, the research shows that the development of musical, literary and fine arts within the black community during the period was essentially controlled by and attributed to middle class African Americans and not to the poor working class that traditionally dominated Harlem. The research is replete with criticisms of the Harlem Renaissance for its “capitulation to white-dictated norms and values, especially on the largely middle-class orientation of the music, literature and art that would come out of it.

It is important to point out that the class rift manifested during the period and identified in the research is not between upper and lower classes but rather, between the black community’s middle class and its poor working class, the latter of which was represented, at least initially, by the artists and work of the Harlem Renaissance. At the same time, while the middle and upper class were clearly those who were able to capitalize on the fact that Harlem had become the economic, political, and cultural center of the African American community, they were also regularly criticized for becoming too much like their white counterparts who were, in many cases, also their benefactors. A particularly disparaging criticism calls the Harlem Renaissance a “patronage system” in which black artists and intellectuals became “performing animals” for their white patrons. Less disparaging but nevertheless critical accounts identify the Harlem Renaissance as a manifestation of the tension between “the need to affirm the uniqueness of black culture and the desire to achieve acceptance by the majority white culture”.

It is not surprising therefore that more than one theory exists to explain the inevitable decline of the Harlem Renaissance. By the arguments of some experts the period was brought to an end by the protests of working class African Americans who ultimately saw the work that came out of the Harlem Renaissance as gradually reflective of white influence rather than authentic African American culture. Others argue that the end of the Harlem Renaissance was hastened by the growth of resentment and racial intolerance by whites in the art world and in American society in general. There were at least a few events that worked to create an environment that not only supported the rise of the Harlem Renaissance but also intensified a class divide in Harlem and the African American community in general, primary of which was the introduction of W.E.B. DuBois’ concept of the “Talented Tenth”.

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