THE NEGRO RENAISSANCE FROM AMERICA BACK TO AFRICA: A STUDY OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE AS A BLACK AND AFRICAN MOVEMENT

CODJO ACHODE, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The Negro Renaissance (1920-1930) also known as the Harlem Renaissance was a notable historical phase and a cultural and political development of great significance in the making and maturation of a Black Personality in the United States. Worthy of a genuine renaissance as the name implied, the movement in spite of some weaknesses, laid the foundations for what is known as black culture, or precisely Negro culture, in the United States. Synchronically and diachronically it marked one of the highest points, and perhaps an unsurpassed apex of Negro American nationalism since the Emancipation of the African slaves. Profoundly negro was the Harlem Renaissance and powerful was the movement to the extent that it developed beyond the American boundary to reach Europe and Africa. African Renaissance which commenced in the 1930's and the most articulate and best expressions of which were Negritude and Pan-Africanism owed its emergence in part to the Harlem Renaissance.^ The investigation in this study has been focused around three major areas of interest: (1) Afro-American influence upon African literature, (2) Afro-American impact on the awakening of African consciousness, and (3) Afro-American contribution to the rehabilitation of African history and civilization. Afro-American influence on African literature came from the Negro ethnic literature which was produced by the Negro Renaissance, its major contributors being Countee Cullen, James Weldon Johnson, Langston Hughes, and Claude McKay. Afro-American political influence from the Renaissance period came from W. E. B. DuBois and Marcus Garvey through their writings and militancy.^ The study was conducted using historical research methodology and causal-comparative research methodology. The first methodology enabled us to bring together and closely examine the diverse historical elements which pertained to the awakening of African consciousness and the rehabilitation of African history and civilization. The causal-comparative methodology was mainly used to establish causal relationships between the literature of the Negro Renaissance and African literature.^ The study shows that Negritude and Pan-Africanism, and through them, African Renaissance, owed much to the Negro Renaissance, thus attesting to the evident contribution of Afro-Americans in the making of modern African consciousness. ^

Subject Area

African American Studies|American Studies|Black Studies|History, Black|Literature, American

Recommended Citation

ACHODE, CODJO, "THE NEGRO RENAISSANCE FROM AMERICA BACK TO AFRICA: A STUDY OF THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE AS A BLACK AND AFRICAN MOVEMENT" (1986). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI8623966.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8623966

Share

COinS