The Harlem Renaissance

An Encyclopedia of Arts, Culture, and History

by Venetria K. Patton and Kwakiutl L. Dreher, Editors


The Harlem Renaissance, also referred to as the Negro Renaissance or New Negro Movement, continues to generate debate regarding its name, precise time frame, and origins.

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Cover image for The Harlem Renaissance

January 2021


Pages 921
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics Race and Ethnicity/African American Studies
  The Arts/General
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This two-volume encyclopedia provides a comprehensive exploration of the Harlem Renaissance, a period of heightened racial consciousness and artistic production, highlighting artists, historical figures, and writers while providing crucial contextual information about the time, 1916–1937.

This essential resource examines the Harlem Renaissance through A–Z entries that explore topics such as the art, literature, music, dance, and culture of the period. Topical overview essays, a chronology of key moments in the period, and a selection of primary documents assist readers in understanding the origins and development of this critical period in African American history.

This encyclopedia strives for breadth by covering various aspects of the multi-faceted movement. Some entries center on artists, performers, and writers associated with the Harlem Renaissance, while others focus on historical figures and organizations, providing cultural context. Entries on important locales and businesses provide readers with a sense of the environment that fostered this cultural renaissance.


  • Provides readers with a wide-ranging exploration of the Harlem Renaissance including major artists, historical figures, and performers through A–Z entries
  • Explores the period and its major themes and concerns through an historical overview
  • Offers additional context through topical essays that feature key figures, events, organizations, texts, and locations of the period
  • Gives readers a first-hand glimpse of the Harlem Renaissance through carefully selected primary documents
Author Info

Venetria K. Patton, PhD, is head of the School of Interdisciplinary Studies and professor of English and African American Studies at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. She is author of The Grasp That Reaches Beyond the Grave: The Ancestral Call in Black Women's Texts (SUNY, 2013) and Women in Chains: The Legacy of Slavery in Black Women's Fiction (SUNY, 2000), coeditor of Double-Take: A Revisionist Harlem Renaissance Anthology (Rutgers, 2001), and editor of Teaching American Literature: Background Readings (St. Martin's Press, 2006, 2014).

Kwakiutl L. Dreher, PhD, is associate professor of English and ethnic studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is author of Dancing on the White Page: Black Women Entertainers Writing Autobiography. She has published, among other articles, "Reading Signs of Crazy: Pam Grier, A Black Feminist in Praxis" in Reading African American Autobiography: Twenty-First-Century Contexts and Criticism, "Don't Slap Yo' Gran'Mamma: Tyler Perry and Madea" in Screening Motherhood in Contemporary World Cinema, and "Scandal and Black Women in Television" in African Americans in Television: Race-ing for Ratings (ABC-CLIO 2013).

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