Langston Hughes, a Harlem Renaissance poet, helped pave the way for African American writers to be heard in the 1900's with his first published book "The Weary Blues" which was published in 1926. This was yet another way that Modernist literature was creating a new atmosphere in American Society.
Opportunity, A Journal of Negro Life published by the National Urban League from 1923 to 1949. The first editor was Charles Johnson. In addition to essays on sociological issues, Opportunity had a strong emphasis on photography, art, & poetry. Early covers included artwork by Aaron Douglas, and writers included many figures from the Harlem Renaissance, including Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, & Zora Neale Hurston.
The first major movement of African-American literature! Langston Hughes [far left] with [left to right:] Charles S. Johnson, E. Franklin Frazier, Rudolph Fisher and Hubert T. Delaney, on a Harlem rooftop on the occasion of a party in Hughes' honor,
Many prominent writers of the Harlem Renaissance expressed the conditions and feelings of the average man. Called the "Negro Poet Laureate," Langston Hughes (1902-1967) said his poetry concerned the commonfolk. Using colloquial language, Hughes based his poetry rhythms on blues and jazz, creating the new form of jazz poetry.
Nella Larsen, an acclaimed novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, became the first African American woman to win a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship. Most famous for her two books, "Passing" and "Quicksand", she disappeared from the public eye after a plagiarism accusation and a high-profile divorce. She spent the last 30 years of her life in obscurity as a nurse in New York City. (The plagiarism was never proven. rw)
Blanche Dunn, the chic Harlem Renaissance-era actress, photographed in Morningside Park in Harlem by her friend, Carl Van Vechten, in 1940. Ms. Dunn was essentially an “It” girl of the era: a mainstay at Van Vechten’s legendary parties and, as noted by the legendary Harlem Renaissance writer, painter Richard Bruce Nugent, “at all the Broadway first nights. A party was not a party, a place not a place, without Blanche”. Photo: Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.