- All Best Essays, Term Papers and Book Report

Great Migration

Essay by   •  March 28, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,932 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,558 Views

Essay Preview: Great Migration

Report this essay
Page 1 of 8

In the period after World War I, 1910-1920 to be exact, hundreds of thousands of African-Americans participated in a movement known as the Great Migration. They left their homes in the South because of violence between the different races and moved up North where there was better education advancement and more employment opportunities. When the African-Americans arrived up North, they did not only offer them education advancements and employment opportunities, but they also granted all adult men the right to vote. When the rest of the African-Americans heard about these luxuries, it led to the world's largest black community, mixing the different cultures and heritages. Since this movement took place in a Manhattan community, Harlem, it later received the name the Harlem Renaissance.

Previously named the "New Negro Movement," the Harlem Renaissance took place in a community on the upper West side of Manhattan, New York; a community named Harlem. Harlem was originally a neighborhood that white workers lived in, and as they grew ambitious and moved out, the white landlords could not afford the housing by their selves. They began to sell their property to African-American real estate agents and renting the housing out to black tenants. As a result, many African-Americans were moving to Harlem, making the community more crowded and crowded everyday with new people from the South and West indies. First, it was only the blacks who could afford to live in Harlem, as prices were still high from when the working class whites lived there. As more whites moved out, more African-Americans moved in and real estate prices fell. The African-American population in that area increased so much that it doubled between the years of 1900 and 1920. When the moved to Harlem, not only did they take their families and what they needed for support, but the brought their talents and ambitions.

The clash of the African-Americans made them find exactly who they were, and why they were important to our country. They used their styles, language, and ideas together to form a new culture. African-Americans became more involved in America by impacting blacks who were on the outside. They came up with their own slang, and became popular in music, art, and literature. African-Americans started to be known for their art and music, from Aaron Douglas to Roland Hayes. They finally started to feel accepted. Formally a part of the New Negro Renaissance, The Harlem Renaissance created their own world with their own talent. They even singled themselves off and called themselves new Negroes and African-Americans who did not participate were stuck in their old Negro ways. Old Negroes were known for being ignorant, superstitious, and hard-working, inferior. The new Negroes were literate, educated, sophisticated, and assertive; respected. Some of the new Negroes were even more talented than some of the whites. Although this movement was nation-wide, it was significant in Harlem because it was expressed stronger there.

Historians call this movement a renaissance because it reminded them of the European Renaissance in the 14th century which changed the European culture. Historians saw this movement as a rebirth for the African-American culture and society. In the European Renaissance, people moved to cities and were starting to become more literate and believing in themselves. They were showing themselves in art, technology, literature, and other important areas. For African-Americans, the Harlem Renaissance had similar changes, by the movement to the cities, literacy, and cultural expressions. These renaissances brought enlightenment to our country, and it allowed African-Americans to express themselves.

The Harlem Renaissance allowed development in many areas: music, art, theater, literature, business, and intellectual thinking. More talented people began to come forward and express what they had, from writers to show girl. Black theater became popular with film and musical events, major books were being published by writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston, and people were becoming more professional by opening more businesses. The community of Harlem was building more saloons, a spot for people who liked the nightlife to enjoy fun entertainment. African-Americans were even becoming more involved politically, being more assertive in social activism. A numerous amount of developments were influencing different people in the Harlem Renaissance: writers, entertainers, business people, religious figures, and even gangsters. They all played a large role in making Harlem known for its new culture.

African-American women even benefitted from the Harlem Renaissance. They took on roles as writers, social activists, musicians, and also performers. During this time period, African-American women were more active and influential than in any other time period. They made dances, wrote stories and poems, and hosted saloons and parties, and their influence was felt worldwide.

In the year of 1929, the stock market crashed, thought to kill off the Harlem Renaissance. It caused the Great Depression of the 1930s and ruined the prosperity of the 1920s for nearly everyone. This even affected Harlem; however, the achievements of the African-Americans did not stop immediately. Even during and after this depression, Harlem was an exciting place to live and work, and it did not change for a long time.

The Harlem Renaissance happened because African-Americans of different cultures came together in the same area, and it produced an interesting world for them. There were in great benefit because they were all concentrated in one neighborhood, the economy was improving, wealthy whites were helping them, entertainment life was a plus, there was a better change of education, and most important, they actually had the energy for growth and expression.

Education was important for the African-Americans. With education came social, economic, cultural, and political change. After slavery, most African-Americans could not even read or right, therefore they were not eligible to get an education. As schools and churches were built, more and more African-Americans were becoming educated. As they became more



Download as:   txt (12.2 Kb)   pdf (140.4 Kb)   docx (13.1 Kb)  
Continue for 7 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2012, 03). Great Migration. Retrieved 03, 2012, from

"Great Migration" 03 2012. 2012. 03 2012 <>.

"Great Migration.", 03 2012. Web. 03 2012. <>.

"Great Migration." 03, 2012. Accessed 03, 2012.