The Harlem Renaissance!

The Harlem Renaissance!


“The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to the cultural, social, and artistic explosion that took place in Harlem between the end of World War I and the middle of the 1930s. During this period Harlem was a cultural center, drawing black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars. Many had come from the South, fleeing its oppressive caste system in order to find a place where they could freely express their talents…During this period Harlem was the Mecca to which Black writers, artists, musicians, photographers, poets, and scholars traveled.”

harlem poster

“The Harlem Renaissance was a literary and intellectual flowering that fostered a new black cultural identity in the 1920s and 1930s…With racism still rampant and economic opportunities scarce, creative expression was one of the few avenues available to African Americans in the early twentieth century…The timing of this coming-of-age was perfect. The years between World War I and the Great Depression were boom times for the United States, and jobs were plentiful in cities, especially in the North. Between 1920 and 1930, almost 750,000 African Americans left the South, and many of them migrated to urban areas in the North to take advantage of the prosperity—and the more racially tolerant environment. The Harlem section of Manhattan, which covers just 3 square miles, drew nearly 175,000 African Americans, turning the neighborhood into the largest concentration of black people in the world.” ~Great Days in Harlem

Harlem Renaissance Topics

Timeline of the Harlem Renaissance

Finding Scholarly ArticlesAcademic Search Complete

Search Academic Search Complete




News Sources


Google News is a computer-generated news service providing headlines and links to articles from over 50,000 news sources worldwide.

Use the arrow on the right to open the advanced search features in Google News, choose a specific source such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR (National Public Radio) and also search news back to 2003.

news search

To search for News before 2003 (back to the 1800s!) use this search:


Search the New York Times back to 1861


(you’ll need to login first on the upper right of site: username: password: dragons15)

Book Sources

Search for books in the BHS Library…we have about 25,000 books!

The BHS Library collection of books on the Harlem Renaissance

You can also borrow books through MaineCat, which gives you access to 4.6 million books in over 100 libraries in Maine, including the Bowdoin College library, and the University of Maine System.


google books

The goal of the Google Books Project is to scan every book in existence in the world. Over 30 million books have been scanned and are available for browsing and reading. Only books with a PREVIEW can be read. Since the pages are scanned, information cannot by copied and pasted from the Google Books website.

How to cite a book from Google Books:

Burnett, William. Classic American Sports Cars. New York: Scribner & Sons, 2012. Google Book Search. Web. 28 January 2016.

Primary Sources

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A primary source is an original document or “first-hand” or “eyewitness” account that is written or produced in the time period that you are investigating.

Tip: Add the word archives or diary or journal or “primary sources” or museum, etc. to a Google search of your person (example: Duke Ellington).

Tip: Search for your person in a Google Image search, and also add a keyword such as Archives (example: Ida Cox Audio and Ad).

Tip: Search for your subject in Marvel changing the dates to cover only the period of the Harlem Renaissance (example: Langston Hughes).

Tip: Search for your subject in the New York Times “Time Machine” changing the dates to cover only the period of the Harlem Renaissance (example: The Cotton Club).

Tip: Search the Google News archives using the search command (example: Billie Holiday).

Tip: Search the archives of the largest library in the world, the Library of Congress (example: Nora Zeal Hurston – plays).

Tip: Add the word Museum or Archives to a google search of your subject (example: W.E.B. DuBois museum).

Tip: Search YouTube for original footage of musicians, poets, etc. (example: The Nicholas Brothers).

Tip: Search Google Books, adding keywords such as letters to your search (example: Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald).

Citing Sources

Citing your sources in MLA format is easy at EasyBib!

How To Cite A YouTube Video in MLA Format

How to Cite Print and Online Newspapers

How to cite a book from Google Books:

Burnett, William. Classic American Sports Cars. New York: Scribner & Sons, 2012. Google Book Search. Web. 28 January 2016.


Harlem Renaissance

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