The Harlem Renaissance, Washington DC And the Rise of Langston Hughes

by Joe Kovacs

It's something of an oddity to mention writers and Washington DC, in the same sentence; one traditionally associates the city with the federal government and policy-making. But in the years immediately following World War I, one of the most significant social and cultural movements of the 20th century, the Harlem Renaissance, received substantial support from an artistic cadre within Washington, including the young poet Langston Hughes.

The Harlem Renaissance, ultimately centered in New York, was characterized during the 1920s and 1930s by an outpouring of literature and in...

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