Politics, Poetry and the Harlem Renaissance

West End Library

Politics, Poetry and the Harlem Renaissance

Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, 6:30 p.m.

In honor of Black History Month, visit West End Library for a discussion of the interplay of political struggle and artistic expression during the Harlem Renaissance.

In spite of the tendency of Harlem Renaissance poets to eschew propaganda and elevate art over politics, the racial situation was so difficult in the interwar period that art and politics frequently became entangled. Among the events that stimulated an artistic response were the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and the Scottsboro Incident of July 1931. The first was perhaps the worst outbreak of racial violence that spread through the United States during the so-called Red Summer of 1919. The Chicago Riot, as well as most other race riots of this period, was characterized by armed white mobs invading black neighborhoods and inflicting violence on blacks and their property. The Scottsboro Incident began in 1931 in Alabama when nine black teenagers were arrested and accused of sexually assaulting two white women. The trials, appeals and retrials lasted through the 1930s and illustrated the difficulty of African Americans receiving justice in the courts of the segregated South.

By clicking on the links below, please read the following brief selections prior to the event. You may need your DC Public Library card to access these selections.

Chicago Riot
Scottsboro Incident
If We Must Die by Claude McKay (1919)
Christ in Alabama by Langston Hughes (1931)

For hard copies of the aforementioned selections, please visit the West End library information desk.

For further assistance, please email: my.nguyen@dc.gov or nolan.harris4@dc.gov.

 

Add to Calendar 25-02-2020 18:30:00 25-02-2020 19:30:00 Politics, Poetry and the Harlem Renaissance In honor of Black History Month, visit West End Library for a discussion of the interplay of political struggle and artistic expression during the Harlem Renaissance. In spite of the tendency of Harlem Renaissance poets to eschew propaganda and elevate art over politics, the racial situation was so difficult in the interwar period that art and politics frequently became entangled. Among the events that stimulated an artistic response were the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 and the Scottsboro Incident of July 1931. The first was perhaps the worst outbreak of racial violence that spread through the United States during the so-called Red Summer of 1919. The Chicago Riot, as well as most other race riots of this period, was characterized by armed white mobs invading black neighborhoods and inflicting violence on blacks and their property. The Scottsboro Incident began in 1931 in Alabama when nine black teenagers were arrested and accused of sexually assaulting two white women. The trials, appeals and retrials lasted through the 1930s and illustrated the difficulty of African Americans receiving justice in the courts of the segregated South. By clicking on the links below, please read the following brief selections prior to the event. You may need your DC Public Library card to access these selections. Chicago Riot Scottsboro Incident If We Must Die by Claude McKay (1919) Christ in Alabama by Langston Hughes (1931) For hard copies of the aforementioned selections, please visit the West End library information desk. For further assistance, please email: my.nguyen@dc.gov or nolan.harris4@dc.gov.   false DD/MM/YYYY