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Harlem Renaissance: Places

ENG 201, Dr. Bucher

Reference Online

Wallace Thurman's Harlem

Harlem: A Vivid Word Picture of the World's Greatest Negro City

American Monthly, May 1927

There is an urgence in the air, an urgence mad and rhythmic, an urgence inspiring folk to laugh and to walk, to smile and to loiter. Seventh Avenue is a hodge podge of color and forms, flowing along to the tune of jazz rhythms. Lenox Avenue is a defeated dung heap flung out to cover the subway underneath. Fifth Avenue is filthy and stark. Eight Avenue is dominated by the "L." St. Nicholas and Edgecombe are respectable and cold. Black America has a capital. Black America has a cosmopolitan center. Harlem is the capital of black America, and Harlem is rooted deeply in the granite cliffs of upper Manhattan. Harlem is not to be seen. Or heard. It must be felt.

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