If you’d like to go a different direction for this Classic Circuit Tour, you can try something other than reading one of the author’s books. Here are some ideas to help you, from reading general information about the movement to studying about the visual artists and musical artists behind it.
General History or Criticism could provide a nice overview of the movement. For example, the following book(s) are a few that I found on Amazon.
- Harlem Stomp! A Cultural history of the Harlem Renaissance by Laban Carrick Hill, about 150 pages. See summaries and reviews at Amazon. A historical overview of the cultural development of the Renaissance, written for a Young Adult audience. There are some brief excerpts from essay, novels, and poetry.
- The Harlem Renaissance, Bloom’s Period Studies, about 300 pages. This volume of criticism has about 20 essays relating to the movement.
- The Power of Pride: Stylemakers and Rulebreakers of the Harlem Renaissance by Carole Marks and Diana Edkin s, about 150 pages. Black and white period photographs tell the story of the Harlem Renaissance.
Biographies of any of the authors or artists could also be read and discussed.
Anthologies could help give you a nice overview of the writing of the era.
- Caroling Dusk: An Anthology of Verse from Black Poets of the Twenties edited by Countee Cullen
- The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader by David Levering Lewis, editor, about 800 pages. See summaries and reviews at Amazon. A sampling of stories, poetry, history, essays, and novel excerpts from some of the major writers of the era.
- “This anthology contains works by many of the most important contributers to the Harlem Renaissance. The best parts of the volume are the poetry selections by poets such as Hughes, Cullen, and McKay as well as the essays by Alain Locke. The works by Hurston and Toomer are also quite good. The essays by Locke (especially the New Negro) feature insight into many of the ideas and developments that took place in order to bring about this important historical and cultural movement. This book is a definite must read.” A Customer at Amazon
- The New Negro: An Interpretation (edited by Alain Locke, 1925; about 400 pages) As an anthology of fiction, poetry, and essays published during the early years of the Renaissance, this volume greatly impacted the subsequent flowering of Harlem.
Although the focus of the Circuit will probably default to writers (since this was started by book bloggers), reading and writing about the visual artists could also be very interesting. Names below link to Wikipedia for more information. For a more complete list, see Wikipedia.
- Jacob Lawrence
- Charles Alston
- Henry Bannarn
- Augusta Savage
- Aaron Douglas
- Archibald Motley
- Palmer Hayden
- William H. Johnson
- Beauford Delaney
- Norman Lewis
As above, reading and writing about the music and performing arts could also be very interesting. Names below link to Wikipedia for more information. For a more complete list, see Wikipedia.