Casey Blake

Professor of history and director of the American Studies Program, Casey Nelson Blake discusses the Harlem Renaissance in The Rise of Consumer Culture, the sixth e-seminar in his series Intellectual and Cultural History of the United States, 1890–1945. Blake views the Harlem Renaissance in the context of the growing consumerism of 1920s America, a culture that promoted the immediate gratification of impulses and instincts as the way to live a good life. Professor Blake argues that although the cultural achievements of the black artists and writers of the Harlem Renaissance held some promise of making American culture more cosmopolitan, America's new culture of consumption would prove remarkably resilient.

Launch Learning Tool

Photo Essay: Harlem Arts & Culture
"Harlem, New York, was a place where for the first time Negroes got out into the mainstream of the dramatic world. You had extraordinarily large dramatic movements."
—A. Philip Randolph

Arts and Culture
The flowering of Harlem music, theater, and writing is explored by Columbia faculty and recalled by eminent African Americans social leaders.

The Neighborhood
Harlem at different times was a magnet for Jews, West Indians, and African Americans from across the United States.

Reflections on Adam Clayton Powell, the odyssey of David Dinkins and political culture itself in Harlem.

Columbia Next Door
Quotations on Columbia’s role in the Harlem community.

The Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia.

Paul Robeson
One of the most prominent black Americans of the 1930s and 1940s, Robeson won critical and popular acclaim for his stage and screen roles.

Ahead of Their Time
From Sid Luckman to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Columbians have often been ahead of their time.
C250 Celebrates | C250 Perspectives | C250 Forum | C250 Events | C250 To Go |
Contact C250 | Privacy Policy | About This Web Site | © Copyright 2004 Columbia University