The Library of Congress THE LOC.GOV WISE GUIDE
HOME You Are Here From Slavery to Freedom Creativity Blooms in Harlem Founding Fathers or First Weathermen? Hunting for Buried Treasure 'Who Were Lady Day and Mister? Singer Billie Holliday and Her Dog' Is it a Fact or a Myth?
Creativity Blooms in Harlem

In the early 1900s, African-American literature, art, music, dance and social commentary began to flourish in New York City's Harlem neighborhood. This African-American cultural movement, known as the Harlem Renaissance, applauded the unique culture of African-Americans and encouraged them to celebrate their heritage.

Drawing in two colors by Winold Reiss Dancer, Harlem, 1925 by J. Van Der Zee

A major factor leading to the rise of the Harlem Renaissance was the migration of African-Americans to northern cities. Between 1919 and 1926, large numbers left their rural southern homes to move to urban centers such as New York City, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Prominent figures to emerge from this era were writers Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes, musicians Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith and scholar W.E.B. Du Bois.

Rich in African American historical collections, the Library has put together a comprehensive guide to its resources on the Harlem Renaissance. Highlights include an online collection of Hurston's plays, which for the most part had remained unpublished and unproduced until they were rediscovered in the Copyright Deposit Drama Collection in 1997; a webcast discussing Langston Hughes and his poetry; and an online exhibition on "The Harlem Renaissance and the Flowering of American Creativity."

A. Drawing in two colors by Winold Reiss. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZC4-5687 (color film copy transparency). No known restrictions on publication; Call No.: Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1998:055, no. 53 [item] [P&P]

B. Dancer, Harlem, 1925 by J. Van Der Zee. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Information: Reproduction No.: LC-USZ62-104172 (b&w film copy neg.).
Publication is restricted. For information see "James Van Der Zee"; [] Call No.: PH - Van Der Zee (J.), no. 1-9 (Portfolio) [P&P]