I always start at a site by checking the “About” section. This one had a very moving introduction to the site, and I couldn’t think of a better way to put it so I’m going to share it with you:
“Within the physical parameters that define Harlem, between the years of 1917 and 1935, artists, writers, dancers, musicians, activists, philosophers, and patrons went to the same parties, danced at the same clubs, and lived and worked on the same streets. As a result, many of the works produced during this period were results of collaborations between artists, and of the influence, encouragement, and inspiration of individuals living and working in Harlem.”
That’s what this site is about, it’s about honoring that renaissance. It is broken down into three sections.
“Faces of the Renaissance”: Here you can learn about the individuals that made this time in history what it was. Meet the artists, musicians, actors, dancers, writers, activists and supporters. Famous names you may have heard that belong to these groups are: Langston Hughes, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Selma Burke, George Snowden, Earl Tucker, W.E.B. DuBois, Alan Locke, and many, many more.
“A Place Called Harlem”: This is where you can explore their Harlem. The places where they socialized , the places where they worked, and the places where they were awarded. This section gives you snippets into these places. For instance, Jungle Alley, where the hottest nightclubs, bars, cabarets and speakeasies in Harlem were.
“Themes and Variations: “The years following World War I and leading up to the Great Depression were ones of racial segregation and economic instability. Yet in the enclave of New York known as Harlem, this period was also marked by a convergence of creative and intellectual minds. Take a closer look at the Harlem Renaissance and discover how and why the arts flourished.” This section is full of marvelous gems of information. Find out how social dancing influenced Harlem and the rise of the Lindy Hop, or how the musical “Shuffle Along” broke down racial barriers, or even how the common newsstands in Harlem provided a voice for many.
You don’t even need to take the A-train—Harlem is just a mouse click away.