Lavishly illustrated with sepia-tone photographs, reproductions of historical documents, and full-color paintings, "Harlem Stomp!" is both a historical exploration and a lively celebration of the Harlem Renaissance.
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Laban Carrick Hill has taught Literature and Writing at Columbia university, Fordham University, and currently teaches at St. Michael's College in Vermont. He has published his poetry and articles in a number of periodicals including American Letters & Commentary, Denver Quarterly, and Onion River Review, and has written twenty middle grade novels for Hyperion and Bantam.
Acclaimed poet, essayist, and lecturer Nikki Giovanni has many published collections of her poetry, including Black Feeling, Black Talk and Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not-Quite Poems. Her honors include the NAACP Image Award for Literature in 1998, and the Langston Hughes award for Distinguished Contributions to Arts and Letters in 1996.
Grade 7 Up-Hill explains the violence, frustration, and dreams of economic opportunity that led to the African-American migration to the North at the beginning of the 20th century. He describes the sense of pride, responsibility, and rights engendered by participation in World War I and the white resentment that resulted in such violence that James Weldon Johnson "dubbed the summer of 1919 the `Red Summer'" in response to the bloodshed. The author discusses why blacks settled in Harlem and how it became the "Mecca of the New Negro," attracting the likes of Langston Hughes, Jean Toomer, and Claude McKay. Also highlighted are publications such as the National Urban League's Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life, which not only supplied forums for these writers but also attempted to generate income for them and provide a sense of racial identity. Music, theater, and the visual arts are also covered. The book contains aspects of everyday culture, too, such as the role of churches, funeral processions, and rent parties. Numerous quotes from speeches, poems, articles, and other works are included. The volume is a visual feast, packed with contemporary photographs, reproductions, magazine covers, and posters, and enhanced by an interesting graphic design. Together, the words and images bring this extraordinary period to life. Pair it with James Haskins's The Harlem Renaissance (Millbrook, 1996), which remains the more in-depth textual overview.
Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NY
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