The Harlem Renaissance
During the 1920s, many black artists, poets, writers and musicians moved to Harlem, a section of New York City, where they became well-known for their writing, art and music. Today, this period in history is called the Harlem Renaissance. During this time, black artists were able to open the publics' eyes about being black in America. It was called a renaissance, or rebirth, because African Americans took their pain and suffering and successfully turned it into art.
Langston Hughes, a poet whose writing expressed the experience of working class African Americans, was considered the "Poet Laureate of Harlem." Other famous artists from this period include world-famous entertainer Josephine Baker, blues singer Bessie Smith, and jazz artists Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. The creative work of the Harlem Renaissance artists remains very popular and admired today.
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