R. Hershey, 7th - Oakland, CA
The Harlem Renaissance was the time African Americans fought for their freedom back in the 1920s. The Harlem Renaissance is the time African Americans had migrated from the south to the north because of slavery. Once more and more African Americans came, the less food and shelter there was. The African Americans started to have talents they were interested in for example art, music, dance, poetry, singing, etc. Of the works we've studied, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, “Hope”, and “His Motto” most clearly demonstrate the theme that collaboration and community can bring out the best in people.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” clearly shows how collaboration and community bring out the best in us. "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was performed first as a poem as part of a celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday by James Weldon Johnson then turned into the Black national anthem. In the poem, it says “Let us march on till victory is won”. This is showing the African American community is marching together as a big group which makes them bigger and stronger. They are marching because Abraham Lincoln is the new president. This is an example of collaborating with other people. In conclusion, this song, which is also a Black National Anthem, shows that being in a group with others and working hard for something shows the best in us humans.
"Hope" develops the same theme of finding the best in ourselves through community and collaboration. “Hope” by Georgia Douglas Johnson is a poet made about children who weren’t having the best time in their lives and are dealing with very hard situations. “And each has his hour — to dwell in the sun!” Georgia Douglas Johnson made a poem about these young kids and is telling them each of them will have their own time to shine. She is supporting her community by making them a poem and telling them not to give up. This shows in the poem “Hope” that community can be a big part of life and can teach you new things and helps you do things you love to do.
Lastly, “His Motto” clearly shows how collaboration and community help us become our best selves. “His Motto” by Lottie Burrell is mainly about John Durmont judging by skin color then later realizes skin color doesn’t define a person. “His face still held the look of doubt and unbelief as he looked at the crude, home-made instruments.” This evidence supports my claim because as Robert Hilton offered John Durmont help to send an urgent message he had no faith in him because he is a colored boy. For this reason, collaboration and community brings out the best in people because when you help someone you‘ll get something in return.
Of the works we've studied, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, “Hope”, and “His Motto” demonstrate collaboration and community bring out the best in humans. As you can see in “Lift Every Voice and Sing” community took place as they marched for victory. In “Hope”, you can see there is community as Georgia Douglas Johnson gives quotes and tells them to never give up. Last but not least, “His Motto” shows both community and collaboration as Robert helps Durmont and he doesn’t care what Durmont thinks of him or is saying about him. Collaboration and Community were important during the Harlem Renaissance because community was all they had and collaboration was very important because that's how they made music and poetry.
Students 6th-12th Grades