The article This Life Harlem gives an account of the lives of run of the mill residents of Harlem. It highlights the social treatment between the black metropolis and those of their political and socio-cultural elite counterparts who subjugated historical scholarship. It gives accounts of how the commonplace black race humanity negotiated the life challenges in the northern neighborhoods as well as how they drew on the key organizations and institutions in order to establish and to be able to sustain their daily lives. The black society relationships comprising the children, cousins, siblings and spouses lived in overcrowded and deteriorating houses full of contagious diseases. This was heightened by the racism of the non-black police, employers and politicians. The same racism was extended into churches, social places such as clubs and fraternal organizations. Up to the time the Civil War came to an end, majority of African Americans had suffered under slavery and they predominated the South in terms of occupation. When the slavery ended the freedmen began to search for their public life by gunning for civic participation, equality in politics and cultural and economic self-determination (Stephen Robertson et al, 2010).
The return from war and return to war affected the lives of families in African-American history. It began like a distant European conflict but it degenerated into an event full of revolutionary implications for the social and economic life of black people. It impacted on all African Americans, northerners and southerners, male or female, soldiers or civilians. This was evident when the black people continuously contested the American democracy boundaries, demanded equal rights as American citizens and kept asserting their humanity. Around 1920, close to half a million black southerners migrated and headed North and this led to the occupation of Chicago, Cleveland, and Detroit among other settlements. This shaped the position of the black race as a whole in America. Court rulings favored whites against blacks thus forcing blacks to use facilities that were considerably inferior.
The Lost Generation comprised of young people who returned from World War I cynical and disillusioned about the world. These individuals had survived the hard times during the war and were expectant of a better post World War I world. To their disillusionment this was not forthcoming since a new social embarrassment was in the waiting. This experience in the Harlem defined what the world was to be this far. It determines the positions the youth played in America to date. The flapper culture and the Jazz music today are dominated by African-Americans who are distant generations of their ancestors who had experiences from the racial discrimination.
Across the 1920s to the 1930s, the Harlem Renaissance was an artistic as well as intellectual movement that brought back a rekindle of the black identity. The renaissance was marked by arts, jazz music, and other literary artistic works. The black Harlem renaissance was meant to rejuvenate the black’s spirit and to redefine their roles in the society. It brought for a sense of belonging and they took serious part and up to today. The black have assumed bigger roles ranging from civic responsibilities to political offices, churches ownerships. The renaissance helped the blacks to step up their push for recognition both in the social and political ladders and it has remained so to date (Stephen Robertson et al, 2010).
Stephen Robertson, S. W. (2010). This Harlem Life: Black Families and Everyday. Journal of Social History , 1-21.