There’s a Harlem Renaissance Resurgence Happening in 2018

Jennifer Baker: Electric Literature – Medium

The Harlem Renaissance is not the only period when we’ve heard from prolific Black writers (there was also the Black Arts Movement of the mid-sixties to seventies, as well as the ongoing contributions to the Diaspora internationally), but it’s certainly one of the most pivotal. From the 1920s to the mid-1930s (give or take), Black artists centered in Harlem, New York produced an enduring library of Black experiences and critiques of society. And it seems that this year, the publishing world aims to remind readers about the work and the energy of this prolific period, through republication as well as rejuvenation of spaces.

In honor of Black History Month, Penguin Classics has reissued several Harlem Renaissance titles with new covers and introductions, including The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois on the 150th anniversary of his birth (Restless Books Classicsseries also published Du Bois’ seminary tome with illustrations last year); Langston Hughes’ debut novel Not Without LaughterNella Larsen’s PassingWallace Thurman’s The Blacker the Berry…; and George S. Schuyler’s Black No MoreThis year we’ll also be treated to the unveiling of books that hadn’t gotten their chance in Claude McKay’s Amiable with Big Teeth (also from Penguin Classics) and Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” from Amistad.

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