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Women to the Rescue!: The Representation of African American Women in the Art and Illustration of African American Harlem Renaissance Publication

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Dahl, Katherine
Gough, Robert (Robert J.)
May 11, 2011
Harlem Renaissance
The "New Negro" was a concept created by Alain Locke, W.E.B Du Bois, and other African American intellectuals during the time of the Harlem Renaissance. This concept promoted the social uplift, greater equality, and the creation of a new identity from within the black community. Fine art and literary works promoted the creation of this new identity. The movement, however, was largely based on the concepts of the "New Negro" being male. This leads one to question, what was the woman's role in the Harlem Renaissance Movement? To what extent was she included? Were efforts made to change her social status and negate her segregation and discrimination? This essay will show that although sexism, racism, and classism are portrayed in her depiction, the "New Negro" female identity was present and promoted. This identity was associated with separate roles in the movement that attempted to conform to white middle class standards of patriarchy; nonetheless those tasks held importance and were celebrated in the African American woman's depiction in art and illustration. Topics that the paper will discuss include two-fold discrimination, efforts to repress that discrimination, women?s economic role, education and history, and her beauty and sexuality.
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