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Women of the Harlem Renaissance (I)

Throughout history the Negro woman has been the symbol of strength and resilience. Her hands have scrubbed another woman’s floors; washed and pressed another woman’s clothes; bathed, cuddled and nursed another women’s children. These same hands have picked cotton alongside her mates, tenderly loved away the pain of her man’s sore muscles and with mind boggling tenderness cradled her own offspring. At her lowest point her hands prepared her beloved for burial and still managed to lift those hands high in praise to her Creator. These same hands have helped her pen her dreams, thoughts, and emotions to the tune of essays, letters, poems and songs. These hands gave a new voice to the definition of womanhood that lets the world know that “I am Woman”. This curriculum, which is intended for 8th grade students, will explore what life was like for African Americans during the Harlem Renaissance. The focus will be on the role of the Negro woman during this time period, as she became an important player during the New Negro Movement. Using the arts as an integral medium, the students will become familiar with an era that some might say was the most creative period known of our culture.

Catherine Thornton-Brownlee
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