The Harlem Renaissance Era Essay

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The roaring twenties was a time that significantly impacted our society. Many new lifestyles were introduced in this era that are now thought as normal. This time period has brought us negative qualities that still appear in our time, but the positives outweigh the negatives in this situation. Many of these ways of life have given us a greater impact in our well being than many other eras in history. The flappers, Harlem Renaissance, and inventions are a significant standpoints of this era.

The Flappers

The 1920s is known for when equal rights finally became a reality. In the beginning of this era the 19th amendment passed, giving women the right to vote (“Flappers”, 2018). Before the amendment passed many women worked during World War one and had much higher paychecks than ever before. When the war ended they didn’t want what wartime brought them to go away. This opened a gateway of women finally feeling freedom and breaking their ties to the victorian past. Women of this era dressed with more skin showing and a style that gave them a more boyish appearance – short hair and dresses that gave them a column appearance. Flappers also smoked and drinked in public which was an activity that only men could do before – without social shame (“Flappers”, 2018). This time period allowed women to not be afraid to express themselves and that they deserve equal rights. The Flappers have inspired many women to be themselves and stand up for what they believe in this day in age.

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Harlem Renaissance

After the failed reconstruction era many african americans left the south and went to the northern united states. Many of them went to the center point of life during this time, New York city. Harlem was an empty neighborhood with landlords wanting to finally have people living in their houses (“Harlem Renaissance”, 2009). Figures that are very inspirational to the black community, such as W.E.B Du Bois, moved from the south to the north (“Harlem Renaissance”, 2009). This event is known as the great migration and the beginning of the Harlem Renaissance. With a much larger population that african americans gained in this migration, the black pride movement was much more predominant. Writers such as Langston Hughes and Zora Neal Hurston made their thoughts known to the public by writing about their past struggles and their hopes (‘The American Vision: Modern Times,’ 2010). The Cotton Club was a nightclub that only served white guests, but the business noticed that their guests wanted to have black performers to perform without interacting with them (“Harlem Renaissance”, 2009). The Cotton Club was one of the first steps of blacks getting recognition in society. Many styles of the arts where not open to the black community until Aaron Douglas, an african american painter. Aaron Douglas was the founding father of black american art and used techniques that had origin in Africa to create his paintings (“Harlem Renaissance”, 2009). Of course as many events in the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance saw its end from the great depression but it didn’t die with it. The Harlem Renaissance was one of the first events in history towards african rights and acceptance in society.


The 20th century is a minefield of inventions that are still used in households in this day and age, many of the inventions came in the 1920s. Radio wave transmission was invented in the 1920s by Ernst Alexanderson (Science Struck, 2018). Before radio waves it was difficult to get signal from dots and dashes. Radio waves allowed radios to be more efficient. (Science Struck, 2018). The radio became popular as a way to get entertainment and news from its capability to be used by anyone. The radio has shaped our world today. It is still being used and has introduced us to new technology, such as the Television and smartphones. An other invention from the 1920s that has shaped our world today is the instant camera. The instant camera, invented by Samuel Shlafrock in 1923, was the first to create a developed image with its own built in darkroom (Science Struck, 2018). The camera is a device that people can use at their fingertips with ease now. Many people adore the camera and helps us have memories stuck in time. Lastly, another invention that was created in the 1920s that we still use to this very day is the audiometer. The audiometer, created by Dr. Harvey Fletcher, is used in hospitals and doctors offices to this very day to test hearing. All of these inventions has increased our value of life and have even helped some.


Some people when the 1920s come in their head they think of social injustice and the start of the great depression. The 1920s is much more than its dark past. It is full of enlightenment and many of the great things that have their origin in this era are still used to this day. The flappers showed society that women don’t have to be what their victorian parents viewed them. The Harlem Renaissance is when African Americans could express and have cultural freedom. Lastly, inventions from the 1920s are still used and have been modified for our daily use to this very day.

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