Compare and Contrast
Since the age of slave trade, African Americans had a problem being integrated into the larger American community. This was mainly due to the issue of racial discrimination. Though they were sidelined in most matters, the African Americans sought to assert their position in the community. Below is a discussion of three of the main events that characterize this assertion of the African Americans.
Compare and Contrast
The 20th Century is seen as the period in which the Blacks in America fought for their place in the society. After years of slavery, they had to live with being looked down upon as the inferior race that had no choice but to live with the discrimination. However, the unfolding events led to the realization that they could be treated just like the average American citizens who had rights as well. However, this was not easy and there was need for a reinforcement of the same. Different movements arose to this cause. Some of them included the New Negro Movement, Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) and the Harlem Renaissance. Arising in different but overlapping historical times, these movements had their similarities and differences as indicated below.
The main similarity is that all the movements aimed at giving a facelift to the perception of the African Americans. The New Negro Movement of the 1920s sought to give a sense of pride, economic independence and progressive politics to the Blacks (Library of Congress, 2012). Marcus and UNIA sought to publish the Negro Culture as a sound culture that they were proud of. This was crowned by the establishment of the Negro World in 1918 (Kwanzaa Guide, 2010). The Harlem Renaissance of 1918-1937, on the other hand, can be seen as the actual realization of the goals of the previous two movements. It is defined as the “blossoming of African American Culture” (Brittanica, 2012). The above account shows that the movements were similar in that they all focused on the same objective.
The contrast in the three movements is the scope as well as the events that propagated them. The Negro Movement was sparked by the participation of African Americans in the World War I. According to the Library of Congress (2012), the war opened the eyes of the Africans to their civil rights. When they went back home, they were more aggressive in advocating for their rights. This led to the movement which was widespread. On the other hand, Marcus Garvey and his UNIA movement arose as the world started embracing new cultures. Even though Garvey was born in Jamaica, he had the movement spread in America and the entire world through literary works that promoted the African American culture. This movement was sparked by the cultural heritage and used the same avenue to advance its objectives.
Brittanica (20120 indicates that the Harlem Renaissance was a product of the works done by Marcus and the UNIA. However, the main difference between them was the fact that when one was the means, the other was the end. Harlem renaissance was a maturation of the dream of the previous movements. As such, it was not a movement in itself but more of an event or happening. This nature differentiates it from the other two. It can, therefore, be concluded that the difference between the three is that the Negro Movement was more political and aggressive, the UNIA led by Marcus was culturally and heritage based, using literally works to advance its course, while the Harlem Renaissance was an event that depicted the results of the previous two movements.
Brittanica Encyclopedia. (2012). Harlem Renaissance. Retrieved on 31st Aug. 2012 from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/255397/Harlem-Renaissance
Library of Congress. (2012). The New Negro Movement. Retrieved on 31ST August 2012 from http://myloc.gov/Exhibitions/naacp/newnegromovement/Pages/default.aspx
Kwanzaa Guide. (2010). The Role of Marcus Garvey and the UNIA in Creating the Harlem Renaissance Movement. Retrieved on 31st Aug. 2012 from http://kwanzaaguide.com/2010/04/the-role-of-marcus-garvey-and-the-unia-in-creating-the-harlem-renaissance-movement/