In the beginning of the 1900s, many African-Americans living in the South moved to the North to find jobs. Many came to a large black area of New York City, Harlem. This migration changed their image from rural to urban, and from peasant to sophisticate. This is where the beginnings of a new culture occurred. It was in Harlem where the Harlem Renaissance was born. Blacks began to create their own types of music, art, and literature as they began their move towards Harlem, all having similar backgrounds and a sense of pride. An unprecedented outburst of creative activity among black Americans occurred in all fields of art (Reuben 9).
The New Negro Movement (later renamed the Harlem Renaissance) emerged toward the end of World War I in 1918, blossomed in the mid- to late 1920's, and then faded in the mid- 1930's. The Harlem Renaissance marked the first time that mainstream publishers and critics took African American literature seriously, and African American literature and arts grasped attention from the nation at large. The Harlem Renaissance emerged amid social and intellectual upheaval in the African American community in the early twentieth century. A number of factors laid the groundwork for the movement. A black middle class had come about by the turn of the century, which was fostered by increased education and employment opportunities following the American Civil War. The Great Migration from South to North occurred at the end of World War I, in which blacks took advantage of employment opportunities created by the war (Miers 14-18). .
African-Americans produced an abundance of poetry, fiction, drama, and essay during this time period. African-Americans intensified their pride in culture and their yearning for acceptance as equals in the United States. This time period not only showed the nation in the ways of life that the minority had, but also was a cry against racism that had originated during the Civil War.