The Harlem Renaissance
Playlist by Janice Lee 12 poems
A period of musical, literary, and cultural proliferation that began in New York’s African-American community during the 1920s and early 1930s. The movement was key to developing a new sense of Black identity and aesthetics as writers, visual artists, and musicians articulated new modes of African-American experience and experimented with artistic forms, modernist techniques, and folk culture. Harlem Renaissance artists and activists also influenced French and Caribbean Négritude and Negrismo movements in addition to laying a foundation for future Black Arts champions like Sonia Sanchez and Amiri Baraka. — Poetry Foundation (

Read: The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain (1926) By Langston Hughes (

Read: The Black Poet as Canon-Maker by Elizabeth Alexander
1. Harlem
Langston Hughes
2. The Negro Speaks of Rivers
Langston Hughes
3. The Weary Blues
Langston Hughes
4. Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
James Weldon Johnson
5. I Have a Rendezvous With Life
Countee Cullen
6. Harlem Shadows
Claude McKay
7. If We Must Die
Claude McKay
8. Translation
Anne Spencer
9. The Heart of a Woman
Georgia Douglas Johnson
10. No Images
William Waring Cuney
11. My Country ’Tis of Thee
W. E. B. Du Bois
12. The Song of the Smoke
W. E. B. Du Bois