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Cary D. Wintz and Paul Finkelman, Editors

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From the music of Louis Armstrong to the portraits by Beauford Delaney, the writings of Langston Hughes to the debut of the musical Show Boat, the Harlem Renaissance is one of the most significant developments in African-American history in the twentieth century. The Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance, in two volumes and over 635 entries, is the first comprehensive compilation of information on all aspects of this creative, dynamic period.

In order to fully understand the movement and its achievements, the Encyclopedia examines not only the cultural and artistic accomplishments of the time but also the political, social, and economic climate. This comprehensive view of the period includes in-depth coverage of the artistic and literary movements as well as broad coverage of the political, social, economic, and legal issues that confronted African-Americans during the early twentieth century.

The Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance focuses on the period of intense cultural creativity and rapid social change in the two decades following World War I. The work also covers the period before the Harlem Renaissance, to examine influential precursors, and the decade after, to discuss its continuing impact and lasting repercussion. In addition, although the Harlem Renaissance is primarily associated with New York, it was not confined to this one location. This Encyclopedia explores the movement's far-reaching influence in other major cities in the United States as well as the Caribbean, Africa, and Europe.

The entries are written by over 260 historians, scholars, artists, and writers and reflect the latest scholarship in their respective fields: history, art, music, dance, politics, political theory, economics, sociology, or African-American studies. Ranging from 500 to 5,000 words, the entries fall into five main categories:

People: important actors, writers, artists, critics, personalities, thinkers, and entrepreneurs, among others. A listing of the individual's publications; listings of exhibits, artworks, or compositions; and a brief biographical sketch are included

Works: plays, films, theater productions, and books

Topics: concepts, ideologies, events, and themes

Organizations: philanthropic organizations, businesses, publishers, and theater companies

Periodicals: newspapers, magazines, and journals

The Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance brings together the breadth and diversity of this rich and complex period. Scholars, researchers, students, and the general reader can seek out information from broad outlines to the fine details on this remarkable and influential period in one comprehensive reference work.


  • Accessible A-Z format for easy searching

  • 639 entries by over 260 leading historians, scholars, artists, and writers

  • Entries range in length from 500 to 5,000 words and include useful bibliographies for suggestions for further reading and research

  • Extensive cross-references for each entry guiding the reader to related topics

  • 180 black-and-white photos and illustrations

  • Comprehensive analytical index

  • Thematic and alphabetic list of entries


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Preface | A-Z Entries List | Thematic List of Entries | Contributors
Sample Entries Reviews | Order Information | Order Online
Contact Us |
Routledge Library Reference Home