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Revisiting The Harlem Renaissance with Dr. Jeffrey Stewart
May 6, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 5:30 pm on Thursday, repeating until May 13, 2021
The Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Distinguished Lectures in Urban History
Dive into the Harlem Renaissance in this four-part series of live virtual talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Jeffrey C. Stewart. Stewart will begin each session with an illustrated presentation exploring a different major art form — from poetry and visual art to theater — of this famous movement in African-American arts and culture, followed by a conversation with a special guest (plus time at the end for Q & A).
African American art and literature found a garden in 1920s Harlem in which to flower and bloom. Often narrated as an Eden in the midst of a segregated, homophobic America, Harlem offered for a time the possibility that a life devoted to Beauty was possible for Black people and fellow travelers in Harlem. By the mid-1930s, the harsh reality of racism, systemic inequality, and economic decline took its toll on that vision. Nonetheless, for a brief moment in historical time, Black elegance and the Black bottom converged in cabarets, speakeasies, nightclubs, and apartments to create the conditions for a collective life devoted to literature and art. These halcyon days were called the “Renaissance” by the African American philosopher Alain LeRoy Locke, and on four consecutive Thursday evenings in April and May, Dr. Stewart will guide us through this complex cultural movement, accompanied by a coterie of guests, experts, and artists. We’ll learn of the philosophy of life and art that launched the Harlem Renaissance, see its effects in our contemporary culture, and understand why and how it continues today.
This series is part of the Museum’s annual Robert A. and Elizabeth R. Jeffe Distinguished Lectures in Urban History, in which leading observers apply insights from disciplines including history, sociology, the arts, and architecture to examine New York City’s ongoing evolution.
Register for all four sessions in the series here, or purchase individual event tickets.
I. Introduction: Art is Philosophy
Thursday, April 22, 5:30 ET
with Harlem style intellectual Lana Turner
II. Poetry and the New Negro Literacy
Thursday, April 29, 5:30 ET
with poet Mahogany L. Browne
III. Visual Arts and Black Design
Thursday, May 6, 5:30 ET
with artist and art historian Margaret Vendryes
IV. The African American on the American Stage
Thursday, May 13, 5:30 ET
with playwright Michael Dinwiddie
Please note that each event will run approximately 75 minutes. Registrants will be sent a recording of the session upon request if they cannot attend “live.”