The Portable Harlem Renaissance Reader share button
David Lewis
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.18 (w) x 7.78 (h) x 1.47 (d)
Pages 816
Publisher Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date June 1995
ISBN 9780140170368
Book ISBN 10 0140170367
About Book

Gathering a representative sampling of the New Negro Movement's most important figures, and providing substantial introductory essays, headnotes, and brief biographical notes, Lewis' volume—organized chronologically—includes the poetry and prose of Sterling Brown, Countee Cullen, W. E. B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, and others.

From its beginnings in 1919, with soldiers returning from the Great War, to its sputtering end in 1934, with the Great Depression, the New Negro Movement in arts and letters proclaimed the experience of African American men and women. This magnificent volume features a wealth of fiction and nonfiction works by 45 writers from that exuberant era.


Library Journal

Editor Lewis is a noted author of several books, e.g., When Harlem Was in Vogue ( LJ 3/15/81) and, most recently, W.E.B. DuBois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 ( LJ 8/93). This hefty tome features many significant essays, poems, and stories not readily available to all scholars that are drawn from African American journals of the period, including Opportunity, Crisis, and Fire! In his introduction, Lewis carefully explores tension within this arts and letters movement. The collected excerpts of writers like Cullen, Hurston, Hughes, McKay, DuBois, and Wright represent a balance between those Renaissance supporters and writers who ``saw the small cracks in the wall of racism that could, they anticipated, be widened through the production of exemplary racial images'' and those who ``saw art not as politics by other means--civil rights between covers or from a stage or an easel.'' This anthology will balance and enhance any modern American literature collection.-- Faye A. Chadwell, Univ. of South Carolina Lib., Columbia