Books and Movies Reviews

Claude McKay: Home to Harlem

Claude McKay was a born in 1890 in Jamaican. The novelist and poet was
well educated having studied at both Tuskegee University and the University
of Kansas. As a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, McKay is best
remembered for his racially themed poetry with popular works such as the
volumes of poetry Spring in New Hampshire (1920) and Harlem Shadows (1922);
and the novels Home to Harlem (1927), Banjo (1929), and Banana Bottom
Prior to writing Home to Harlem, McKay lived abroad. In 1919 McKay
moved to Europe, where he became increasingly involved in the Communist
movement and saw Communism as an alternative to racism, poverty, and
colonialism. He was known to travel extensively and at one time or another
lived for periods of time in the Soviet Union, France, Spain, and Morocco.
“For years McKay was involved in radical political activities, but he
became increasingly disillusioned, and in 1944 he converted to Roman
Catholicism.” (The Columbia Encyclopedia)
The Harlem Renaissance had many names. It was called the New Negro
movement, the New Negro Renaissance, or the Negro Renaissance. The movement
emerged around 1918 around the time World War I ended. The movement hit
full stride in the late 1920’s and started its descent around 1930’s.
During that time, however, successful black writers published over fifty
volumes of poetry and fiction. Other black artists established their talent
in the genres of painting, music, and theater.
The Harlem Renaissance represented a time when white mainstream
publishers began to consider black American literature marketable. Even
with the overall racial philosophy towards blacks by the majority of the
white community throughout the United States during those years, the
literature and art exhibits gained a large following all over the United
Although the Harlem Renaissance was mainly a literary movement; it
could …

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