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Harlem Renaissance Scavenger Hunt in NYC Valerie Augustin


Table of Contents The arrival of the black history in Harlem...................................................................................3 Harlem Renaissance scavenger hunt in NYC………………………………………………….4-17 More information on scavenger hunt destinations…………………………………………..18-22 Literature Works…………………………………………………………………………………23 More places to visit…………………………………………………………………………24-25 Works Cited…………………………………………………………………………………26


The arrival of the black history in Harlem! In 1930, Central Harlem was about 70% black. How did we get to this point when there was only a 10% black population in 1910? (Wikipedia) It started with the Harlem Renaissance. This time period became known as a golden age for literature, music, stage performance, and art for African Americans. It was a time of cultural expression for African Americans. When WWI started, there were very few workers working in factories. Many black people down south saw this as an opportunity and decided to go up north for a better life. This was known as the Great Migration. Many African American’s who migrated to the north found themselves in different run down areas. They moved to places such as Harlem, Detroit, Chicago, etc. Harlem was one of the largest. White people were not happy about this migration because they blamed those who migrated to the north for flooding the employment market and lowering wages. Therefore, conditions were still bad for black people who were now up north. With the majority of Harlem being black, writers, actors, artists, and musicians embraced their African American culture and traditions, and even created new ones. Out of this experience, we got some of the greatest talent that the world has ever seen.




Begin by standing on Frederick Douglass Blvd. (facing uptown on Frederick Douglass Blvd.), make a right and walk down W 118th street. Keep walking past St. Nicholas Ave until you reach the place that used to be a vibrant jazz club and the birthplace of bebop which is now a brunch spot. Minton’s Playhouse CONTINUING


Continue to walk down W 118th street in the same direction and make a left. Let Adam Clayton Powell Jr. lead you to W 125th street. When you reach W 125th street, make a left and continue walking until you find the theater where great musicians such as James Brown, Diana Ross, Billie Holiday, etc. have performed. The Apollo Theater CONTINUING


Turn around and start walking back towards the direction you came from. Crossing Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd., continue walking until you come across the country’s first museum that’s dedicated to contemporary African American artists. The Studio Museum in Harlem CONTINUING


Continue walking down W 125th street until you hit 5th avenue. Make a left and walk up to E 127th street, then make a right. On this block you will find the house of the American poet,


novelist, and playwright whose African-American themes made him a primary contributor to the Harlem Renaissance. Langston Hughes House

Congratulations! You have completed the scavenger hunt! 1. Minton’s 206 W 118th St, New York, NY 10026

2. Apollo Theater 253 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027

3. Studio Museum in Harlem 144 W 125th St, New York, NY 10027

4. Langston Hughes House 20 E 127th St, New York, NY 10035







Here are a few pictures of these places that I took myself:








Here is a bit more information on the places you visited today! 1. Minton’s Minton’s was founded in 1938 by saxophonist, Henry Minton. His goal was to establish a place where he could hang out with his friends and practice their new music. Minton was the first black delegate to Local 802 of the musicians’ union so because he had connections to the union, they could practice freely there without fear of being fined. Bebop, a type of jazz that was characterized by complex harmony and rhythms, was born there on Minton’s stage. Minton’s was popular for being an after-spot for musicians from nearby big band theaters (The Apollo, Paramount) to visit after performances. As jazz became more mainstream, it migrated to whiter areas of the city and Minton’s closed down in 1974. Although there were many attempts after to reopen Minton’s, it was finally reopened again on May 19, 2006.


2. The Apollo Theater The Apollo Theater was opened in 1914. It played a huge role in the upcoming of jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, and soul. This theater introduced the first amateur night in 1934. Many celebrities had a jumpstart in their career through this theater such as, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and much more. The Apollo became the premiere showplace for live, theatrical entertainment in Harlem. The Apollo also became the largest employer of black theatrical workers in the US, and the only theater in NYC hiring blacks in backstage positions. Although The Apollo Theater has closed and reopened a few times, this historical landmark still stands strong today, continuing to make more memories and embracing our African American culture. 19

3. The Studio Museum in Harlem The Studio Museum in Harlem was established in 1968. African American culture was excluded from museums and galleries for a long time so the Studio Museum in Harlem was established to collect, preserve and interpret the art of African Americans and the African diaspora. This was the first museum in this country to do this. This museum started in a rented loft on 125th street and has grown so much since. New York Bank for Savings donated its 60,000 square foot building. It became a great place for black artists to work on their art and observe the work of others. It gave African Americans an 20

opportunity to share their everyday experience through artwork. Works that you will come across are photographs, paintings, sculptures, etc.

4. Langston Hughes House Langston Hughes (1902-1967) was an African American poet, novelist, and playwright. He was also an activist who’s work portrayed African American themes such as black life in America. His literary work included poetry, fiction, autobiography, children’s books, opera, and drama. He was a great contributor of artistic content during the Harlem Renaissance. In his work, his goal was to 21

share stories about black people in ways that reflected the actual culture of African Americans, including both their suffering and their love of music, laughter, and language itself. Langston Hughes was also big on traveling. He graduated from Lincoln University in 1929, but had attended Columbia University in the early 1920’a where he dropped out of college to travel and see the world. Although Hughes was big on seeing the world, he decided to make Harlem his personal home in 1942. Famous works of Hughes include “The Negro Speaks of Rivers”, “The Weary Blues”, “Not Without Laughter”, and so much more!



Want to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance? I took a trip to the library where I found some literary works that will help you learn more about the Harlem Renaissance. I will post them below: Harlem Renaissance David Levering Lewis Encyclopedia of African-American Culture and History. Ed. Colin A. Palmer. Vol. 3. 2nd ed. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2006. p998-1018. Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2006 Gale, COPYRIGHT 2007 Gale, Cengage Learning Harlem Renaissance Jason Esters Encyclopedia of the African Diaspora: Origins, Experiences, and Culture. Ed. Carole Boyce Davies. Vol. 2. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2008. p507-509. Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2008 ABC-CLIO, Inc.


Here are other places you may want to visit while in Harlem: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture opened in 1925 to adapt to the changing community. This was around the time that the black population was increasing. In 1926, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg who was a Puerto Rican-born Black scholar and bibliophile, added his collection to the Division. This collection included more than 5,000 books; 3,000 manuscripts; 2,000 etchings and paintings; and several thousand pamphlets. Schomburg served as a curator for the Division from 1932 till his death in 1938. To honor Schomburg, in 1940, the name was changed from the Division of Negro Literature, History and Prints to the Schomburg Collection of Negro Literature, History and Prints.


Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Mother African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, also referred to as “Mother Zion”, was founded in 1976. It was New York City’s first African American church. Minister James Varick was disappointed with increasing segregation practices. Ministers James Varick, Christopher Rush, William Miller, and George Galbreath became the founding members of Mother Zion. After withdrawing from the predominantly white Methodist Episcopal Church in 1820, Mother Zion introduced black religious expression that catered to the burning black population. During the 1930s, the church attracted the likes of elite black scholars, entertainers, and civil rights activists such as Joe Louis, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, and Madame C.J. Walker and more! 25

Works Cited “Exhibition Harlem Postcards Winter 2018.” The Studio Museum in Harlem, “The Harlem Renaissance.”, Independence Hall Association, Staff. “Harlem Renaissance.”, A&E Television Networks, 2009, Larsen, Nella, et al. “Popular Harlem Renaissance Books.” Goodreads — Share Book Recommendations with Your Friends, Join Book Clubs, Answer Trivia, “Madam and the Phone Bill.”, Academy of American Poets, 1 Apr. 2014, Walker, Ameena. “15 Historic NYC Sites to Visit for Black History Month.” Curbed NY, 3 Feb. 2017,


Bls booklet final  
Bls booklet final