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The Lost Secrets Of The Harlem Renaissance

'Romance in Marseille' was published for the first time this week.
'Romance in Marseille' was published for the first time this week.

In a piece published in “Crisis” Magazine,poet Langston Hughes describes Harlem in 1926: 

“Harlem and its love nights, its cabarets and casinos, its dark warm bodies. The thundering subways, the arch of the bridges, the mighty rivers hold me. I am amazed at the tremendousness of the city, its diverseness, its many, many things…I cannot tell the city how much I love it.” 

While Hughes is perhaps one of the most popular figures from the Harlem Renaissance, nearly a century later, lesser-known writers from the time period are finding new audiences.  

Claude McKay is among those writers. This week, his never-published novel “Romance in Marseille” was published. Jessie Fauset‘s 1924 novel, “There is Confusion” was republished. 

Why are these forgotten works from the Harlem Renaissance resurfacing now? And how do these writers who existed both at the center, and yet on the fringes, of this movement challenge our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance as a cultural moment? 

Copyright 2020 WAMU 88.5

Haili Blassingame
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