Harlem Renaissance Poetry Fest

In keeping with our focus on Identity, Culture and Speech, your next assignment allows you to explore all three at once, and with the company of some of your classmates. Your task is to create a wiki page that teaches us about a poet of the Harlem Renaissance. Just as the Renaissance involved all manner of artistic output, your project will include art, music, technology, poetry and analysis.

Your Wiki page should bring the poet and the times alive via image, sound and words. Along the way you must convey the following:

  • Convey meaningful and interesting biographical information
Tell of the poet's origins, education, and influences
Tell of the poet's challenges and triumphs as a poet
Tell of his/her influence on others and pertinent info about their later life
  • Share two of his/her poems
These should be displayed creatively and legibly

These should be followed by an analysis of their shared themes, style, purpose and tone
  • Illustrate the presentation with images from the Harlem Renaissance
These could be both photographs and other visual art from the period.
These should definitely include pictures of the poet
These should be deliberately chosen to amplify/echo elements from the poet�s life and the thematic content of their poetry.
  • Accompany the presentation with at least one piece of music from the era.
If you choose something with lyrics you might consider playing this while moving us through a number of the images
If you choose something instrumental you could play this under images or while you read the poems

Whew, that's a lot to do, but if you break up the tasks it really isn't too much. The key here will be clear communication. I recommend you proceed somewhat along these lines:

1. Start by exchanging email addresses and phone numbers.
2. Though you might elect one member to write the bio, one to select the poems, etc. it is important that you all know the poet and some basics about his/her career. Start with the attainment of this info via the general sources below. The source may not be wikipedia.
3. After sharing this info, you should divide the tasks and get to work, or you might like to work through it all collectively. Whatever you decide, be sure to set some clear goals and deadlines for contribution due dates (I'll step in and help with this if your group is failing to progress. Make sure everybody is keeping track of their source information as this will all be included in MLA citation at the bottom of your Wiki page. Use Easybib.com to help you format your citations.

Beyond simply gathering the information, you'll need to figure out who (could be all of you) will gather the information and who will edit the wiki page. For now, start on those first two points above and figure how you'll complete this assignment.

What a great Opportunity to study important American Artists, to practice a new application on your computers, and to work together with your friends.

While certainly not an exhaustive list, on the next page you'll find some links to get you started. You'll definitely have to dig deeper, especially to find info on your specific poet. Make your presentations exciting, informative, and entertaining. Good Luck!

HR General Sites

From the Library of Congress, this site has lots and lots of info, pics, etc...: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/harlem/harlem.html
MSN Encarta's entry on the HR: http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_761566483/Harlem_Renaissance.html
Poets of the Harlem Renaissance

Art of the HR
From the Institute of International Visual Arts: http://www.iniva.org/harlem/home.html

From ARTLEX, an online art dictionary/encyclopedia: http://www.artlex.com/ArtLex/h/harlemrenaissance.html

Music of the HR
Some suggested music.

1. Louis Armstrong �Satchmo�, (A Musical Autobiography of Louis Armstrong); Decca DXM Records 1963.
2. Cab Calloway �Chu�, Epic Records 1968.
3. Duke Ellington �Flaming Youth�, The historic sound of the early and vital Harlem band in 16 exciting 1927-1929 recordings; RCA Victor Records 1969.
4. Ella Fitzgerald �Rhythm is my Business�, Verve Records 1962.
5. Dizzy Gillespie �Bird and Diz�, The Genius of Charlie Parker; Verve Records 1960.
6. Benny Goodman �The King of Swing�, Columbia Records 1959.
7. The Fletcher Henderson Story �A study in Frustration� Thesaurus of Classic Jazz; Columbia Records.
8. Thelonius Monk �Bean and the Boys�, Prestige Records 1971.
9. Charlie Parker �Jazz Perennial�, Verve Records 1960.