From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–After establishing historical context with essays on the arts, events, locations, and major issues of the Harlem Renaissance, this volume continues with a meaty collection of biographical essays on 21 major figures of the period. Arranged into categories of literature, music, visual and performing arts, and politics, the subjects include Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Zora Neale Hurston, Duke Ellington, Ethel Waters, Aaron Douglas, W. E. B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, Paul Robeson, Marcus Garvey, and others. The articles are written by scholars and professors, whose credentials are noted in some detail. The writing is consistently clear and engaging, supplying plentiful detail and easily understandable analyses of intriguing innovators in a uniquely exciting and volatile place and time. Individual audio tracks, cued in the text by Audio Callout, include music, literary readings, interviews, and radio broadcasts. This primary-source material adds powerful and immediate impact and creates the Living History of the subtitle. Black-and-white photos, most from the New York Public Library's Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, are well captioned and informative. The visual and auditory impact of this title, paired with an in-depth, accessible text, makes it a good choice for browsing or research.–Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS
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For three decades after World War I, Harlem was the site of burgeoning racial and cultural awareness and ambitions among African Americans. In the opening section of this book, Wintz provides the historical context for what became known as the Harlem Renaissance. In separate sections devoted to poetry, music, politics, art, and the phenomenon of the New Negro, contributors profile many of the era's major figures, including Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Bessie Smith, Ethel Waters, Josephine Baker, W. E. B. DuBois, Paul Robeson, A. Phillip Randolph, and Marcus Garvey. The essays place the Harlem Renaissance in the broader context of an awakening of black culture throughout the U.S. The book contains references to the accompanying CD, which offers 60 minutes of music, poetry, interviews, performances, and speeches, giving voice to the vibrant life of Harlem. Photographs, drawings, book covers, and posters add to the richness of this collection. A fabulous resource on the Harlem Renaissance. Vanessa Bush
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