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Lecture 13

American Studies 2200E Lecture 13: American Studies Lecture 13

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American Studies
American Studies 2200E
Anna Zuschlag

American Studies Lecture 13 January 19 , 2017 The Great Migration World War One - Altered race relations in the United States - During wartime the economy booms - American not directly involved in the war until 1917 - Supplying the allies from 1914-1918 The Great Migration - Millions of black Americans flee to the Northern Cities - Leaving to escape the Jim Crow South and to fill Northern industry - Southern Americans joined by migrants from the West Indies - Before WWI 90% of the black population lived in the South - Between 1910-1920, half a million leave the South - By the 1920’s over one million head to urban centres like New York and Chicago - Pulled to factories with higher wages than sharecropping in the South - More opportunity for efficient and longer education for their children - Escaping the violence and lynching in the South - Most of the immigrants from the West Indies were professionals - Creates a class divide within the African American community - The Northern known as “The Promised Land” - Most migrants are young men and women, single, have young families - Sets the scene for racial tensions, but also breakthroughs - The act of making the way to the North was an act of political self-determination The Harlem Renaissance - The unofficial capital for Black America - NAACP National headquarters in Harlem - A vibrant community emerges in Harlem - The black community merges itself with the artistic culture of New York - Poets, artists, musicians, writers, intellectuals - An opportunity for agency and power in the theatre world and cultural realms - Allows African Americans to move beyond stereotypes - Many of the works include elements of protest against white appropriation, privilege, racism and violence - Some of the work reflects the ideas of what rich liberal white patrons envisioned as an acculturated black artist (What a black intellectual should be/what they should produce) Alain Locke: The “New Negro” - Considered to be the father of the Harlem Renaissance - Highly educated, PhD in philosophy from Harvard - Locke is describing Harlem’s urban landscape as a way to probe or identify the different ways that the black community can talk about what it means to be black - Argued that Harlem was a space in which the black community could emphasize its diversity and its humanity - Emphasized that African Americans had a history going all the way back to Africa - Connections to Africa should be acknowledged and celebrated - Wanted to move people away from the monolithic mythology of the “Old Negro” - Wanted to push back against the conception of black life and the lack of agency that black Americans had - W.E.B Dubois believed black American should accommodate white behaviors and not
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