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date: 14 August 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article examines the relationship between the Harlem Renaissance and modernism. It suggests that African Americans' modernity can be considered as having emerged as a reaction to the brutal exploitation black Americans endured in the South after the civil war. In this perspective, African Americans are modern by circumstance and inclination, if not by social standing and education. However, this view is complicated by the fact that there were also African Americans who possessed the more typical modern outlook produced by university education and cosmopolitan experience, including lain LeRoy Locke and James Weldon Johnson.

Keywords: Harlem Renaissance, modernism, African Americans, modernity, civil war, university education, cosmopolitan experience, Iain LeRoy Locke, James Weldon Johnson

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