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HARLEM STOMP! by Laban Carrick Hill


A Cultural History of the Harlem Renaissance

by Laban Carrick Hill

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-316-81411-3
Publisher: Little, Brown

As Nikki Giovanni says in her foreword, the Harlem Renaissance was “an American people redefining this great American nation.” The rich cultural life of Harlem in the 1920s included the poetry of Langston Hughes, the photography of James VanDerZee, the painting of Aaron Douglas and William H. Johnson, the vocal performances of Paul Robeson. Harlem was the Jazz Age—Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, the Savoy Ballroom. This volume, clearly a labor of love, is a visual treat, from the cover art by Christopher Myers to the pages chock full of period photographs and artwork of the age. The narrative voice, though, is inconsistent, sometimes affecting the ebullient language of the “hoppin’” nightclubs and the “white hepcat from downtown,” at other times sounding dry as an old textbook. The big bibliography doesn’t reflect the wealth of resources available for young readers, but the volume offers much for browsers and young researchers. (index, credits) (Nonfiction. 12+)