1920 to 1930 the Harlem Renaissance took place. It was a
time when many African -Americans produced creative works
such as p9aintings and poems. The renaissance expressed
the culture of African Americans through the celebration
of heritage. The Harlem Renaissance resulted from the migration
of African-Americans to the North from 1919 to 1926 along
with the rise of radical black intellectuals such as Marcus
Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association
(UNIA) and editor of The Crisis magazine W.E.B. Du Bois.
A famous Harlem Renaissance poet was Langston Hughes. He
was born in Joplin, Missouri and later moved to Lincoln,
Illinois at age thirteen where he began to write his poetry.
Later moving to Washington, D.C. in 1924, his fist book
of poetry called The Weary Blues was published two years
afterwards. Hughes is known for his portrayals of the lives
of blacks from the twenties to the sixties. In addition
to being a poet, he was a novelist, and writer of short
stories and plays. It is also known that his love of jazz
had an influence on his writing as in Montage of a Dream
A renowned poet of this time is Maya Angelou. She too is
a native of Missouri but born April 4, 1928 in the city
of St. Louis. She is also an author, historian, civil rights
activist, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer,
director, performer, and singer.
In 1959 following Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s request,
she became the northern coordinator for the Southern Christian
Leadership Conference. Angelou was associate editor of The
Arab Observer from 1961 to 1962 and two years later she
was feature editor of the African Review . She became Reynolds
Professor of American Studies for a lifetime in 1981.
was also the first black female director in Hollywood, writing
the original screenplay and musical score for the film Georgia
in 1971. Additionally, she has written several prize-winning
documentaries such as “ Afro-Americans in Arts”
and was nominated for two Tony awards in her Broadway debut
Look Away (1973) and her performance in Roots(1977).