The Harlem Renaissance
A Historical Exploration of Literature
by Lynn Domina
November 2014, 243pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-61069-649-4
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-1-61069-650-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

At one time, interracial marriage was considered a crime in the United States.

A perfect guide for use in high school classes, this book explores the fascinating literature of the Harlem Renaissance, reviewing classic works in the context of the history, society, and culture of its time.

The Harlem Renaissance is one of the most interesting eras in African American literature as well as a highly regarded period in our country’s literary history. The works produced during this span reflect a turbulent social climate in America … a time fraught with both opportunities and injustices for minorities. In this enlightening guide, author and educator Lynn Domina examines the literature of the Harlem Renaissance along with the cultural and societal factors influencing its writers.

This compelling book illuminates the cultural conditions affecting the lives of African Americans everywhere, addressing topics such as prohibition, race riots, racism, interracial marriage, sharecropping, and lynching. Each chapter includes historical background on both the literary work and the author and explores several themes through historical document excerpts and thoughtful analysis to illustrate how literature responded to the surrounding social circumstances. Chapters conclude with a discussion of why and how the literary work remains relevant today.


  • Discusses five major writers of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Provides numerous suggestions for class activities and further individual exploration
  • Supplies educators with ready reference work that aligns with Common Core Standards in English Language Arts (ELA) in Social Studies
  • Gives readers insight into how literature and other art forms reflect the social conditions and are inspired by events of the time
Lynn Domina, PhD, is a professor of English at the State University of New York at Delhi. Her published works include Greenwood's Understanding A Raisin in the Sun: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents and Understanding Ceremony: A Student Casebook to Issues, Sources, and Historical Documents as well as Poets on the Psalms. She received a doctorate in literature from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
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