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Harlem Renaissance recreated at APSU

October 23, 2002

Theatre students from Tennessee State University, under the direction of Patrick Idoye, will present “Creative Expressions of the Harlem Renaissance” at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 25 in the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center. The presentation coincides with a seminar addressing the same topic in APSU's African American Studies program.

“The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural and intellectual movement that was at its height in the 1920s,” said Dr. Jacqueline Wade, director of the center. “It was an era in which African Americans, through poetry, music, plays and essays, expressed the true meaning of their heritage.”

According to Wade, this was the era that gave rise to such literary giants as Langston Hughes, Claude McKay, Zora Neale Hurston and Alain Locke.

Students enrolled in the seminar will spend Saturday, Oct. 26, at Fisk University, where they will tour the Aaron Douglas Gallery and hear lectures by Fisk University faculty whose specialty area is the Harlem Renaissance. Thadious M. Davis, a professor at Vanderbilt University and author of the book “Nella Larson: Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance,” will serve on a panel titled “Women and the Harlem Renaissance.”

“The roots of the Harlem Renaissance spread from New York to Fisk University,” said Dawson. “Several stars of the Harlem Renaissance were regular visitors to Fisk, and some, such as Aaron Douglas, taught on Fisk's faculty. One of his former students, Professor LiFran E. Fort, will meet with our students.”

An exhibit of artifacts, papers and photos from the Harlem Renaissance, normally housed at Fisk, will be on display. It includes collections from Arna Bontemps, Aaron Douglas, W.E.B. Bois and Langston Hughes.

“This will be a rare treat for our students,” said Wade. “Not only will they hear from the experts, they also will see documents written by these men and women. History books definitely will come alive.”