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Blacks in Paris During the 1920s

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Submitted By jayj
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Blacks World Spotlight: on the International Stage in the 1920s
During World War I the United States bought nearly 200,000 African-American soldiers to France. Majority of the African American soldiers were from the southern region of the United States of America. Many Blacks stayed after the war, generating a permanent Black population in France. The ending of the First World War also marked the beginning of the New Negro Movement or Harlem Renaissance in the United States. During this time African Americans emerged as talented, creative intellectuals leaving their footprint on 1920s America. While much focus of the New Negro Movement is centered in the United States, it indeed was an international affair. The purpose of this research is to examine how a number of African Americans launched their creative debut from the international stage of Paris, France. Additional focus will center on black artists turning to Africa as a source and facture in the art. Last but not least, the effort of Author Schomburg to collect and house international works about blacks will be addressed.
Utterly intrigued by African Americans and thoroughly consumed with their talents, the French displayed a respect for Blacks unseen in the United States. While a great number of African-American soldiers remain in Paris, many journeyed back to the United States. Those soldiers certainly were not greeted by change. The United States remained the same racially tensed nation. If there was any change, it was the increase of racial tension. In the summer of 1919, the intensity had peaked so that race riots rampaged throughout the country. At this time, African-American, World War I soldiers fled the country. They return to Paris baring gifts of talent, intelligence, and art. Among the great talent brought to Paris by African Americans was the introduction of Jazz music. The explosive jazz...

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