Zora Neale Hurston's Influence During The Harlem Renaissance

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Zora Neale Hurston served an influential role during this time period. It is important to understand the significance of this era in history and how African American people were able to develop and adapt their own ideals, morals, and customs through creativity and art. Therefore, the focus of the exhibition is on the African American search for identity in the post-slavery period and the creation and self-expression through art during the Harlem Renaissance. As a novelist, anthropologist, and folklorist, Hurston was recognized for her distinctive way of relaying her feelings and ideals about racial division and for her efforts to connect both the artistic world and the African American population. Through her creativity, meaningful and ornate …show more content…
Art during this time reflected the desire to use music to keep African heritage alive. Jacob Lawrence’s painting Jazz typifies the growing expression of music in African American communities, especially through jazz. The rhythms and beats of jazz were unique to African America roots in tribal music and gave them an individual voice. August Christine Savage’s bronze cast Lift Every Voice and Sing (1939),built for the World’s Fair, was based on the African American National Anthem, also titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing, written by James Weldon Johnson. This sculpture was a physical representation for the song, created to enhance the message and give hope to the black community. The painting Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction (1934) by Aaron Douglas is part of a series of wall paintings that depict different aspects of black history. This painting is an example of how African Americans were building a new identity after the reconstruction. The painting shows the shift in the place of African Americans in society, from slavery to emancipation. Douglas depicts the emancipated slaves as celebrating their triumph through music and dance. This painting provides an example of how African Americans use music to celebrate and continue their heritage. Together, these paintings exhibit the Hurston’s desire to keep the African …show more content…
African Americans have had a strong connection to the land that they live on because of their past as slave workers and sharecroppers. William Johnson’s painting Chain Gang (1939) provides an example of African American people being literally bound to the land that they are working on. Because of this past, African Americans have had a deep relationship with the earth. In the painting Ascent of Ethiopia (1932), Lois Mailou Jones expresses the journey of African Americans from slavery to their current struggles. It is meant to represent these trials and their fight to overcome them. In the painting Soul History (1969), Romare Bearden shows a group of celebratory African Americans holding their instruments in jubilant song. Bearden is known for creating collages about black lifestyle and music. All of these pieces provide examples of the strong connections between African Americans and the

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