Use of Imagery and Religious Verses during the Harlem Renaissance

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Use of Imagery and Religious Verses during the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem Renaissance was an African-American cultural movement that took place in the early 1920s and 1930s centered in Harlem locality of New York City. Harlem Renaissance refers to the name given to the time from the end of World War I through mid-1930s depression. By then, it was known as “New Negro Movement”, and incorporated a group of writers alongside highbrows associated with Harlem during the migration of African-Americans from other parts of United States. This period of unprecedented black creative activity offered a platform of expressing cultural identity issues and social and political segregations (Carroll 57). Various artists published works of writers including drama, poems, and music. This essay discusses the use of imagery and religious verses during the Harlem Renaissance as well as their various contributions in African American literature.

First published in 1903, “The Souls of Black Folk” remains a landmark highlighting the life of African Americans and their spiritual nature. Written by William Edward Burghardt DuBois, this essay collection portrays the sensitivity of pathos and ethos concentrating on the spiritual conditions and religious life of Black Americans. In the introduction of the book, the author shows that “no other text, save possibly the King James Bible, has experienced more fundamental impact on shaping the literary tradition of Afro-Americans (Carl Van 89). This religious verse transformed the official organ of political lobbying group into the main outlet for African American political opinion and world literature. Secondly, Black Religion and Black Radicalism, by Gayraud Wilmore explore African religious history. The author uses the term radicalism that African religion has had a paradoxical and vacillating relationship over the past. The use of the term serves to express the insistent theme within the African church history that white Christianity and society were sick into death a.............


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