Courses/Lectures

Each of the 34 courses available can be enrolled in individually, or in packages.  Each course is an approximately 1-hour session that consists of the opportunity for the students to interact with the associated artifacts, and a discussion exercise tailored for your specific class in accordance with your teacher's curriculum/recommendations.  If the Course List below doesn’t fit your needs, we can work together to develop the presentation you desire – from control of the discussion topics to selection of items to be presented.

The Harlem Renaissance:
Letting the World In On Our Little Secret

During the 1920s, 30s, and 1940s, Harlem was heralded as the epicenter for Black artist, literary and socio-political thought.  From poetry to art to music to fiction, Black artists, writers and performers from Harlem gave the world a glimpse into Black life while pushing the boundaries of expression of Black thought.  With more than a dozen first edition books from the writers of the Renaissance including Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Claude McKay and more - some of them signed by the Renaissance authors, we are able to experience Black life from the roar of the 1920s to the Great Depression of the 1930s and early 1940s.

 

Artifacts: 1st Edition works by James Weldon Johnson, Arna Bontemps, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Countee Cullen and Claude McKay, other relevant items

The Black Christ (1929), 1st Edition, Signed by Countee Cullen - While Langston Hughes may receive the notoriety for his role is what became known as the Harlem Renaissance, he was far from the only major poet.  Countee Cullen, born around 1930 (there is uncertainty surrounding his early life, as he was not raised by his parents), he was brought to Harlem at around 9 years old. A gifted scholar, he graduated from NYU and received his M.A. from Harvard in 1926.  Already published by the time he graduated from undergraduate school, his most prominent work, Color, was written while he attended Harvard.  This work, The Black Christ, was written by Cullen in 1929, and is signed by Cullen.  In the collection is a 1st Edition copy of Color, along with two other 1st edition works by Cullen.

Zora Neale Hurston's Moses, Man of the Mountain, 1st Edition, 1939 - One of the leading novelists of the 20th Century, Zora Neale Hurston, without a doubt, made her imprint not only on the Harlem Renaissance, but on the nation at large. Her unflenching looks at Black life provided a look into the African-American world of the first half of the 20th Century that most of white America had never imagined.  She authored several books besides this one, including her most famous work, The Eyes Were Watching God.  Before she was a household name, Zora first got her start publishing small pieces in The Negro World, the publication of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association (U.N.I.A.).  The book shown above, one of two first edition works by Hurston available, was first published in 1939.

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