by Joe KovacsIt’s something of an oddity to mention writers and Washington DC, in the same sentence; one traditionally associates the city with the federal government and policy-making. But in the years immediately following World War I, one of the most significant social and cultural movements of the 20th century, the Harlem Renaissance, received substantial support from an artistic cadre within Washington, including the young poet Langston Hughes.The Harlem Renaissance, ultimately centered in New York, was characterized during the 1920s and 1930s by an outpouring of literature and intellectual thought from black artists and activists who helped define black pride and identity in a society dominated by whites.The seeds of the movement were planted in one respect through incidents of interracial tension and rioting that rippled through the United States during in the summer of 1919. The migration of unemployed blacks to northern cities was at an all-time high during the Great War, as servicemen left positions to fight overseas. In many cases, the racial flux of neighborhoods in already cramped cities led to deep anxieties once these servicemen returned from Europe. Discomfited from events witnessed on the global stage and restless from unemployment, many were drawn into the Red… Read full this story
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