The Harlem Renaissance


The Harlem Renaissance Begins


The period where African Americans discovered arts, and literature.

The American Negro

Approx. 1920

A writer named Benjamin Brawley wrote and published a work called The Negro in Art and Literature in the United States.



James Weldon Johnson becomes the head of the NAACP.

Langston Hughes


Langston Hughes's great poem "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" is published in crisis.

Harlem Shadows


The first major book of the Harlem Renaissance appears when Claude McKay's novel Harlem Shadows is published by Harcourt, Brace.

Marcus Garvey


Marcus Garvey is arrested for mail fraud and imprisoned for three months.

Civic Club Dinner launches the New Negro

Approx. 1924

An organized dinner where black writers were brought together with white publishers

The New Negro Movement

Approx. 1925

Alain Locke edited and put out Harlem : Mecca of the new negro. This helped continue the New negro Movement that started with the Civic dinner the year before.

Louis Armstrong Plays Jazz


Louis Armstrong began his jazz career.

An African American wins the Pulitzer Prize


Paul Green wrote a work called In Abraham's Bosom. It won a Pulitzer Prize.

Harlem Globetrotters


The Harem Globetrotters was established. It is still widely known today.

Cotton Club Opened


Harlem's most famous cabaret opens.

The Negro Experimental theatre was founded


This theatre was an inspiration to other groups int the country. It encouraged serious Black theatre and playwrights, and was founded upon the concept of being by us, near us, and for us.

A successful Broadway play by a black artist


Harlem, written by Wallace Thurman, opened on broad way. It became the most successful play by a black author of its time.

The fight against segregation


Members of the NAACP and the American Fund for Public Service met to discuss ways to end segregation, or the separation of blacks and whites.

The Harlem Riots


Harlem's first race riot was ignited by the rumors of a teenage shoplifter being beaten. Three people died and hundreds more were injured. African-American homes and businesses were vandalized and burned.The Harlem Renaissance was in full swing until the Great Depression of the 1930s caused the economic pressure to weigh heavily on all facets of life. Many of the great talents from the Renaissance went on to be activists throughout the war and the Depression. The Harlem Renaissance did not fade quickly, but persevered quietly when arts and literature was needed most.

The last novel of the Harlem Renaissance

Approx. 1937

African American author Zora Hurtson published the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. It was considered the last novel of the Harlem Renaissance.