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1920s Essay Introduction

In reaction to the financial crisis of 2008 scholars may be rethinking these conclusions. Economists have been questioning whether central banks can and should prevent asset market bubbles and how concerns about financial stability should influence monetary policy. These widespread discussions hearken back to the debates on this issue among the leaders of the Federal Reserve during the 1920s.

1920s Essay Introduction

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Fashion in the 1920s was all about the whole look and there were trends in how the body itself was fashioned. The simple lines and androgynous shapes of fashion looked best on bodies free from curves. Through exercise, diet, and various shaping undergarments, women attempted to achieve this look. The sporting look also helped facilitate a mode for suntanned skin. Many women cut their hair into a bob, a popular hairstyle that emerged early in the decade. Hairstyles kept getting shorter first with the shingle and then with the Eton crop, but like hemlines, as the decade drew to a close, women were starting to grow their hair longer again. The cloche hat became an extremely popular accessory that looked best with these short hairstyles.

This collection of primary source documents and essays provides in-depth coverage of the cultural, social, political, economic, and intellectual events of the 1920-1945 era. In keeping with the proven strengths of the Major Problems series, the compelling documents are grouped with important secondary sources, accompanied by chapter introductions, selection headnotes, and suggested readings.

The Civic Club dinner significantly accelerated the literary phase of the Harlem Renaissance. Frederick Allen, editor of Harper's, approached Countee Cullen, securing his poems for his magazine as soon as the poet finished reading them. As the dinner ended Paul Kellogg, editor of Survey Graphic, hung around talking to Cullen, Fauset, and several other young writers, then offered Charles S. Johnson a unique opportunity: an entire issue of Survey Graphic devoted to the Harlem literary movement. Under the editorship of Alain Locke the "Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro" number of Survey Graphic hit the newsstands March 1, 1925.2 It was an overnight sensation. Later that year Locke published a book-length version of the "Harlem" edition, expanded and re-titled The New Negro: An Interpretation.3 In the anthology Locke laid down his vision of the aesthetic and the parameters for the emerging Harlem Renaissance; he also included a collection of poetry, fiction, graphic arts, and critical essays on art, literature, and music.

The visual arts, particularly painting, prints, and sculpture, emerged somewhat later in Harlem than did music, musical theater, and literature. One of the most notable visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance, Aaron Douglas, arrived in Harlem from Kansas City in 1925. Later that year his first pieces appeared in Opportunity, and ten Douglas pieces appeared as "Ten Decorative Designs" illustrating Locke's The New Negro. Early the next year W. E. B. Du Bois published Douglas's first illustrations in The Crisis. Due to his personal association with Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, and other African American writers, his collaboration with them in the publication of their literary magazine Fire!! and his role designing book jackets and illustrating literary works, Douglas was the most high-profile artist clearly connected to the Harlem Renaissance in the mid- to late-1920s. And while these connections to the literary part of the Renaissance were notable, they were not typical of the experience of other African American artists of this period.

By 1920, Harlem, by virtue of the sheer size of its black population, had emerged as the virtual capital of black America; its name evoked a magic that lured all classes of blacks from all sections of the country to its streets. Impoverished southern farmers and sharecroppers made their way northward, where they were joined in Harlem by black intellectuals such as W. E. B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson. Although the old black social elites of Washington, DC, and Philadelphia were disdainful of Harlem's vulgar splendor, and while it housed no significant black university as did Washington, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Nashville, Harlem still became the race's cultural center and a Mecca for its aspiring young. It housed the National Urban League, A. Philip Randolph's Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, and the black leadership of the NAACP. Marcus Garvey launched his ill-fated black nationalist movement among its masses, and Harlem became the geographical focal point of African American literature, art, music, and theater. Its night clubs, music halls, and jazz joints became the center of New York nightlife in the mid-1920s. Harlem, in short, was where the action was in black America during the decade following World War I.

Harlem and New York City also contained the infrastructure to support and sustain the arts. In the early twentieth century, New York had replaced Boston as the center of the book publishing industry. Furthermore, new publishing houses in the city, such as Alfred A. Knopf, Harper Brothers, and Harcourt Brace, were open to adding greater diversity to their book lists by including works by African American writers. By the late nineteenth century, New York City housed Tin Pan Alley, the center of the music publishing industry. In the 1920s, when recordings and broadcasting emerged, New York was again in the forefront. Broadway was the epicenter of American theater, and New York was the center of the American art world. In short, in the early twentieth century no other American city possessed the businesses and institutions to support literature and the arts that New York did.

So, what was the Harlem Renaissance? The simple answer is that the Harlem Renaissance (or the New Negro Movement, or whatever name is preferred) was the most important event in twentieth-century African American intellectual and cultural life. While best known for its literature, it touched every aspect of African American literary and artistic creativity from the end of World War I through the Great Depression. Literature, critical writing, music, theater, musical theater, and the visual arts were transformed by this movement; it also affected politics, social development, and almost every aspect of the African American experience from the mid-1920s through the mid-1930s.

But there was also something ephemeral about the Harlem Renaissance, something vague and hard to define. The Harlem Renaissance, then, was an African American literary and artistic movement anchored in Harlem, but drawing from, extending to, and influencing African American communities across the country and beyond. As we have seen, it also had no precise beginning; nor did it have a precise ending. Rather, it emerged out of the social and intellectual upheaval in the African American community that followed World War I, blossomed in the 1920s, and then faded away in the mid-to-late 1930s and early 1940s.

Like Fire!!, this essay was the movement's declaration of independence, both from the stereotypes that whites held about African Americans and the expectations that they had for their literary works, and from the expectations that black leaders and black critics had for black writers, and the expectations that they placed on their work.

Among the visual artists, Lawrence's historical series emphasized the racial struggle that dominated African American history, while Romare Bearden's early illustrative work often focused on racial politics. The struggle against lynching in the mid-1920s stimulated anti-lynching poetry, as well as Walter White's carefully researched study of the subject, Rope and Faggot. In the early 1930s, the Scottsboro incident stimulated considerable protest writing, as well as a 1934 anthology, Negro, which addressed race in an international context. Most of the literary efforts of the Harlem Renaissance avoided overt protest or propaganda, focusing instead on the psychological and social impact of race. Among the best of these studies were Nella Larsen's two novels, Quicksand in 1928 and, a year later, Passing. Both explored characters of mixed racial heritage who struggled to define their racial identity in a world of prejudice and racism. Langston Hughes addressed similar themes in his poem "Cross," and in his 1931 play, Mulatto, as did Jessie Fauset in her 1929 novel, Plum Bun. That same year Wallace Thurman made color discrimination within the urban black community the focus of his novel, The Blacker the Berry.

The Harlem Renaissance flourished in the late 1920s and early 1930s, but its antecedents and legacy spread many years before 1920 and after 1930. It had no universally recognized name, but was known variously as the New Negro Movement, the New Negro Renaissance, and the Negro Renaissance, as well as the Harlem Renaissance. It had no clearly defined beginning or end, but emerged out of the social and intellectual upheaval in the African American community that followed World War I, blossomed in the mid- to late-1920s, and then faded away in the mid-1930s.

Arguably, the flappers of the 1920s were kind of a beginning of another change in the life of women. There was a surplus of women in Britain; this was caused by the loss of many men to the war. In this era women was done with their old way of lifestyle. They went for more beauty modern things and ditched what they believed to be a conservative way of life. They changed the way of clothing, styles of their dresses as well as their hairstyle. Change in life is believed to be very important, at the begging of change most people see it as being negative. This is because they are used to the old things they use to see. It takes time in a conservatism world for change to be effective and have impact on the people (Sagert 6). What is in the mind of many people is how the flappers in the 1920s was an important factor in the revolution of women way of living and lifestyle, furthermore does the flappers way of life have an impact on the lifestyle of the contemporary women. Get Help With Your EssayIf you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help! 350c69d7ab

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