The Harlem Renaissance occurred before the Great Depression, WW2, and numerous inventions; however, it’s still celebrated and recognized today.
In the 1920s, Harlem was the epicenter of Black culture in New York City. Jazz music filled the streets like traffic, speakeasies, and other nightclubs kept the liquor flowing and the dice rolling in the face of prohibition, and entertainers, including Cab Calloway and Josephine Baker, pushed the fashion trends.
Publicity still portrait of Cab Calloway in a zoot suit starring in the all-Black-cast musical ‘Stormy Weather,’ 1943. (Photo by John Kisch Archive/Getty Images)
(Eingeschränkte Rechte für bestimmte redaktionelle Kunden in Deutschland. Limited rights for specific editorial clients in Germany.) Baker, Josephine (*03.06.1906-12.04.1975+) , Taenzerin und Saengerin, USA / F, – in einem Bananen-Tanz in der Brick-Top-Bar, Paris (das erste Foto, das J.Baker in einem stilisierten Bananen Kostuem zeigt), – 1925, – Aufnahme: Murray Korman, New York (Photo by ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Today, Harlem has changed in many ways, including the demographic of its population, but those who live and work there are keeping the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance alive,
“Harlem is a community unlike any other,” Thelma Golden, director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, told Conde Nast Traveler last year, “It’s deeply united, and its residents have continued to build and sustain the cultural institutions, historic places of worship, incredible culinary scene, and more.”
According to CNTraveler, the neighborhood’s culinary scene also brought many to the area, including Marcus Samuelsson. He opened Red Rooster in 2010 to celebrate and honor the Harlem supper clubs of the renaissance while adding his international flair to the cuisine, rooted in his Ethiopian heritage and Swedish upbringing.
“I think as a Black person growing up outside America, I’ve always had great admiration of the idea of a Black Mecca,” Samuelsson told the traveler. “Harlem is and was that place. It was very aspirational for me.”
Other signs of the Harlem Renaissance…
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