Digging beneath the glitter of the African American artistic outpouring early in this century dubbed the Harlem Renaissance, journalist Bascom unearths another Harlem from forgotten WPA Writer’s Project manuscripts in the Library of Congress. Selecting 50 pieces by 11 WPA writers who worked in Harlem in the 1930s, Bascom challenges standard versions of the Renaissance’s dimensions—everything from when it began and ended to its content and style. His selections take us beyond the close-knit circle of black intellectuals usually credited with producing the fruits of the most celebrated post-Civil War, pre-Civil Rights season of African American self-discovery. The pieces resound not with the voices of the glitterati but with a vernacular chorus about everyday life during the Great Negro Migration. (That migration, which brought blacks from the rural South to the urban North in massive numbers, changed not merely the complexion of upper Manhattan but transformed it into the world’s black capital.) This important book promises to shift discussions about Harlem, the Renaissance, New York, and Depression-era America in popular culture, literature, history, and folklore. Highly recommended. —Thomas J. Davis, Arizona State Univ., Tempe Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
- History / United States / 20th Century
- History / United States / State & Local / General
- Literary Criticism / American / African American
- Social Science / Ethnic Studies / African American Studies
- Social Science / Sociology / Urban