Podcast, 35 min. NPR, 2020. Harlem in the 1920s was perhaps unlike any other place in America. While artists like Louis Armstrong, Langston Hughes, and Zora Neale Hurston still endure, dozens if not hundreds of works from that period have been lost, forgotten, or never published.
Now, they're coming to life for the first time. This week, a never-before-published novel by Jamaican-born poet Claude McKay was published, 90 years after he wrote it. Another novel, by writer Jessie Fauset , was also republished this week for the first time in nearly a hundred years.
Time. 10/11/21. In Harlem and beyond, the 1920s saw a period of relaxed social mores as people rebelled against Prohibition-era restrictions. The speakeasy culture paved the way for LGBTQ+ nightlife and drag balls—or what Langston Hughes called “Spectacles in Color,” according to James Wilson, author of Bulldaggers, Pansies, and Chocolate Babies: Performance, Race and Sexuality in the Harlem Renaissance and a professor of English at LaGuardia Community College.