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Harlem Renaissance

Essay by   •  June 8, 2011  •  Essay  •  534 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,898 Views

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As a teenager growing up in El Monte, California I can relate to the experiences of the Harlem Renaissance in both good ways and bad. In the time of the Harlem Renaissance people expressed their feelings of frustration through music and literature. During this time great artists and writers showed their feelings through poetry and autobiographies about life experiences and difficulties just as writers do today. In addition to music about the frustrations in life, artists wrote music to distract people from their situation in poverty. Do you believe the Harlem Renaissance and today are similar? I do, in more ways than most people may think.

The Harlem Renaissance took place in the city of Harlem. Harlem was a poor black neighborhood located in New York. Throughout the Harlem Renaissance people used rhythms and beautiful literature to take their minds off of poverty and frustration felt in their everyday lives. In the poem "Harlem" by Langston Hughes, the writer shows the difficulties of living in poverty and how people looked at their own frustrations. Artists helped everyday people cope with their frustrations by bringing beautiful jazz music into self expression. In my mind the Harlem Renaissance truly was a beautiful yet harsh period in history.

Growing up in El Monte, I notice that a lot of families are frustrated and have little hope due to the lack of jobs and the fact that so many people are in poverty. Even people today in El Monte for example are struggling with money problems and are trying to provide for their kids just as a lot of people did during the Harlem Renaissance period. As you can probably see, today a lot of frustration is caused by the same problems and experiences people faced during the Harlem Renaissance period for example; in the poem "Harlem" Langston Hughes describes the rise of taxes and how life is difficult for a lot of New York citizens. Although are eras are decades apart the Harlem Renaissance period and today are similar and can definitely relate to each other.

People during the Harlem Renaissance enjoyed listening to music in order to distract themselves from their depression just as they do today. Blues and jazz influenced poetry and writing during the Harlem Renaissance. Many other great genres where influenced by music we listen to everyday. Today rap and R&B artists write about their experiences and hardships in life just as artists from the Harlem Renaissance did, in "The Weary Blues" by Langston Hughes, beautiful music and rhythms influenced people by encouraging strength and hope for the future. Music has impacted many lives today just as jazz and blues affected the lives of people during the Harlem Renaissance; they truly are similar aren't they?

During the 1920's and 1930's music and literature impacted the people of Harlem. Jazz and blues played great roles in lives when it came to frustration and hardships. Today people



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