Page 9 - Mar2019
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Work by new artists joins established masters at an array of galleries and to create a mix of talent in capital of Black America. BY KAREEMA CHARLES
 The Essie Green Gallery is a mainstay in Harlem’s thriving arts landscape
l It was the end of World War I and the start
of the Great Migration. Hundreds of thousands of African Americans from the South migrated to northern cities in hope of escaping Jim Crow laws–in hope of a better life. Large industrial cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, St. Louis, Baltimore, and New York City, quickly turned into small Black metropolises. But one section of New York City became the mecca of it all, starting a new movement filled with different expressive forms of art by African Americans.
“It was the center of everything, center of Harlem, center of Black life in this country,” said Sherman Edmiston, owner of Essie Green Galleries, Harlem’s oldest art gallery. “The Harlem Renaissance was a “consumance” of all of the different aspects of black culture that existed throughout the country.”
The Harlem Renaissance, also known as the “New Negro Movement” by Alain Locke’s anthology, was a literary, artistic, and intellectual movement that sparked a new
Black cultural identity in the early 1920’s.
Harlem is poised to usher in its second century of
artistic expression with installations of fine art ranging from the world-class Studio Museum to lesser known, but no less important venues that host emerging and long- established talent.
“The Harlem Renaissance was the shot that was heard around the world,” said Misha “Omo Misha” McGlown, an artist and curator in Harlem. “The beloved artists, musi- cians, poets, writers, and personalities that came out of it were so prolific and dynamic that they still resonate strongly and powerfully today and around the world.”
Some of those dynamic individuals that came from the movement included W.E.B. Du Bois, Josephine Baker, Lois Mailou Jones, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Augusta Savage, Zora Neale Hurston, Dizzy Gillespie, Laura Wheeler, Romare Bearden and Langston Hughes.
The Renaissance inspired future generations of Black

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