Short Question Directions
Step 1: Identify author and title
Step 2: Provide background info/context of quote
Step 3: Thesis: Meaning of overall work and why/how this quote relates to overall meaning
Step 4: Literal meaning of quote
Step 5: Metaphorical meaning of quote/deeper connotations
Step 6: Conclude and link quote back to thesis.
Themes: Frustrations with racism and its impact; African American Struggles, African Americans are every bit as smart as whites, roots/history "Rivers", journey that has been made and will be made in the future, contempt for racism and hope for future, dreams loss of them and need to pursue them.
Titles of Poems: "The Negro Speaks of Rivers"; "I, Too", "Harlem"
Influences: Blues and Jazz; Walt Whitman, Carl Sandburg, Claude McKay, free verse
Background Info: Went to Columbia for a year dropped out to be part of Harlem Renaissance movement; career survived renaissance symbol of impact of that era
Zora Neal Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God
Themes and devices: Hurston writes in Southern language mixed with articulate narrator language, finding one's voice, identity crisis, sexual discovery/ gender expectations, touches on race predjudice and struggles ie kids being mean to Janie at beginning of story, her mom and Nanny being raped.
Background Info: Grew up in the first all black township Eatonville, Florida stark contrast to Janie growing up in White town, anthropological research influenced her writing, African American folklore influenced her writing, Published in 1937 after Harlem Renaissance but was still had rennaissance elements, not as starkly political as realism movement; multifaceted work no one defining theme or political mesage
Characters: Tea Cake; Janie, Pheoby Watson, Logan Killicks, Johnny Taylor, Nanny
Harlem Renaissance (1919-1940)
~Cultural movement of extraordinary creativity in the arts for blacks by blacks.
~Centered in Harlem
~African Americans response to their social conditions; they made art to express and affirm their dignity and humanity in the face of racism.
~Migration to the North (escape southern racism & seek better life by getting industrial jobs in North) responsible for "Harlem" as a refuge
~Movement saught to prove intelligence of blacks (Du Bois encouraged this), sought to break stereotypes so whites would take action to treat blacks better
~The Renaissance died with the Depression; poverty and crime took over and tarnished artsy image of blacks
~Established an African American identity; set the stage for civil rights movement
W.E.B Du Bois "The Soul's of Black Folk"
Themes: double conciousnesss; demanding of right to vote, right to get an equal education, and right to equality, "the veil" a color line epidemy of racism
Differences from Washington- Demands equality now, wants blacks to take political action, does not sugarcoat or bow down to whites, doesn't like that Washington only advocates for tech schools
Alain Locke's "The New Negro"
Themes: Creation of African American identity, asserting African American independence, calls for negros to prove intelligence, inspirational piece for future Harlem Renaissance writers, in part started the renaissance
Booker T. Washington's "Up from Slavery"
~Sugarcoated things to appeal to whites and blacks
~emphasized industrial and tech schools to get funding for Tuskegee
~blamed racism on slavery as an institution not on whites
~claimed to harbor no resentments for whites
~served to compromise between whites and blacks
~was a representative for whites and blacks alike
~gradual obtaining of rights-does not demand equality
Jame's Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues"
Themes and Motifs: struggle of African Americans, lack of change (hopelessness), coping mechanisms, downfall of harlem, typical realist piece
Characters: Sonny, Isabel, the narrator
Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man"
Surrealist in nature but also realist
Themes/Devices-Racism, invisibility, limitations of fighting stereotypes, hopelessness