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The Harlem

As we have seen, the 1920s was a time of conflict. For
example, in terms of culture, there was the conflict between
the “innies” and the “outties”; i.e. those who believed that
self-improvement came from within and those who believed
it came from consumer products.

There was also the conflict between the old, Victorian

values and the new ________________ culture of the youth.

For African-Americans, the '20s were also a time of conflict. Today we will be looking at
the way a new wave of African-American scholars and poets began to question the wisdom
of their elders.
Instructions: Your group has been given a poem written during the Harlem Renaissance
of the 1920s. Your task will be to analyze the poem for imagery, symbols, and overall
meaning. You have been put in groups for a reason; work together to find the meaning of
the poem. And use the skills from English class to help!
Title (what clues about the poem can Topic (what's the poem about? Is it
you get from its title?) telling a story?)

Imagery (what images does the author Tone (how does the author sound?
use? What do they convey?) Optimistic? Pessimistic? Happy?)
W.E.B. Du Bois
Harlem Renaissance
W.E.B. Du Bois Marcus Garvey/Harlem

The Harlem Renaissance is in full bloom, and a new crop of African-American scholars
and thinkers has risen up to challenge the established leader, W.E.B. Du Bois. This is
not to say that they all disagreed with his philosophies, but by the 1920s, things had
begun to change.

Imagine that you are a subscriber to The Crisis, the literary and current events
magazine of the N.A.A.C.P. You have read “The Talented Tenth” by Du Bois, and
understand his views on how African-Americans can break the shackles of Jim Crow.
Then, Marcus Garvey publishes a scathing indictment of Du Bois, claiming that Garvey
and the more radical members of the Harlem Renaissance have a better way of gaining

Your task is to write a letter to the editor, either arguing for W.E.B. Du Bois' policy of
racial integration, or favoring the more radical approaches of Marcus Garvey and other
members of the Harlem Renaissance.

As you write, consider the following:

• How did Du Bois feel African-Americans could best achieve rights?
• How was his method similar and/or different from the radical members of the
Harlem Renaissance?
• Read Marcus Garvey's criticism of Du Bois. Do you think it is a fair one?
• Why might the Harlem Renaissance have been so cynical about Du Bois' ideas?
• Overall, who is right: Du Bois or Garvey?

This editorial is worth 15 points, and is due _______________.

“A Dream
by Langston

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?
“We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence
We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!
“If We Must Die” by Claude
If we must die, let it not be like hogs
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die, O let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
O kinsmen we must meet the common foe!
Though far outnumbered let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we'll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!
“The Battle
Hymn of
by Marcus Garvey

Africa's sun is shining above the horizon clear, forevermore;

The day for us is rising, for black men far and near; We see the enemy scatter, and watch their ranks
Our God is in the front line, the heav'nly batallion divide-
leads, With God there is no fetter for whom He doth provide.
Onward, make your banners shine, ye men of noble
deeds. All God's children, in trouble, or burdened down with
No matter where, how humble, His love is ever there;
There's a flag we love so well-
So cheerful let our courage be and rally for the King,
The red, the black and green,
The Saviour, Christ, the Lord, is He, whom angels
Greatest emblem tongues can tell,
tidings bring.
The brightest ever seen.

Ho, Africa, victorious! See, the foe goes down!

When pandemonium breaks, the earth will tremble
The Christ and Simon lead us to wear the triumphant
Nor oceans, seas nor lakes shall save the first or last;
Jesus remembers dearly the sacrifice with the cross,
Our suffering has been long, our cries to God
So raise those banners gladly-never to suffer loss!
We have counted ev'ry wrong which calls for an
And so the war is ending, the victor's palm is ours,
Crushed 'neath a sorry bending, like dead, fallen
So into battle let us go, with the Cross before;
Thus lay the proud men of the day, all lost, forever,
The Angels, great, from high to low, watch
Where the demons never say to God, "We'll deliver."
A Barefaced Colored Leader
by Marcus Garvey

W. E. B. Du Bois is the most brazen fellow that one knows in Negro leadership.
Because of the unfortunate mental condition of the masses of Negroes, this man,
who secured many free scholarships to obtain his education, has consistently
used his "white" education to mislead and humbug, the millions of his race in the
United States.
The Negroes in America, since Emancipation, have ever been looking for honest
and upright leaders to point them to the way of political, economic, social and
general development. Du Bois offered himself immediately after he left Harvard
and the people were glad to receive him, but jealous as he was of every other
Negro leader, his first effort was to attack the honest, upright and useful leader --
Booker T. Washington. By so doing he divided American Negro opinion and the
confusion springing there from has continued up to the present, but Du Bois took
pride and pleasure not only in attacking Booker Washington but he has attacked
and tried to discredit every one other Negro leader of importance who sprung up
in America.
The history of the struggle of the American Negro upward will record that Du Bois
was one of the greatest enemies of the greatest industrial, political, commercial
and nationalistic movements that was ever founded in the United States. He
never rested openly and by intrigue to discredit and destroy this movement until
he had along with others succeeded in having its leader "framed up" and
imprisoned and then deported from the
United States. After he succeeded in killing
that movement in the United States and
having the field almost entirely to himself,
as no doubt he intended, he kept the race
without a programme and up to recently he
and Kelly Miller have been debating as to
what kind of a programme would be best
suited to the American Negro at this late
hour of his national distress.
The very fact that the man up to now has
no programme shows that he never
intended any and his profession of being a
leader from the time he left Harvard, was
only to deceive the American Negro and at
the same time satisfy his white patrons who
had the scheme to suppress any
independent development of his race.