in the Public Realm
Harlem: World War One, the Great Migration, and the Harlem Renaissance

Harlem: The Capital of Black America (part 2)
James Kaplan
Harlem: The Capital of Black America (part 3)
James Kaplan
The Schomberg Library
Joseph Coppola
Sites at this Tour Stop...


Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

An Idyll of the Deep South

About this Tour Stop...

This section of the tour describes how Harlem came to be the destination for many people escaping the increasingly violent racism of the turn-of-the-century South, eventually nearing the status of The Capital of Black America. World War One was an important event for Harlem, which saw many residents sent to France to fight on the front lines. Earning the nickname 'The Hellfighters' and decorated with one of France's highest honors, these soldiers returned to Harlem as heroes. But despite their sacrifices, race relations in the United States did not see any of the hoped for improvement - the post-war period in saw several vicious race riots throughout the country. In the post-war years, Harlem became a cultural center, where important Black artists lived and worked. This period became known as the 'Harlem Renaissance'.