UC Berkeley Library

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

Using the Library during COVID-19

UC Berkeley’s library buildings are now open. To stay up to date on the Library’s policies and services during the pandemic, visit the Library’s COVID-19 webpage.

The Harlem Renaissance

A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs & Freedom.

Biography of the African American labor leader, journalist, and civil rights activist, A. Philip Randolph. Randolph won the first national labor agreement for a black union, The Sleeping Car porters. His threat of a protest march on Washington forced President Roosevelt to ban segregation in the federal government and defense industries at the onset of WWII and again he forced Truman to integrate the military.

Africa to America to Paris: The Migration of Black Writers.

Traces the path of African-American literature from the shores of the U.S. to the Left Bank of Paris at the end of World War II through the late 1960s. The program provides context by first exploring the New Orleans salon poetry of Desdunes and then discussing the historic suppression of black activists in the U.S. after the Harlem Renaissance. This program primarily traces the lives of James Baldwin, Richard Wright and Chester Himes who immigrated to Paris seeking greater intellectual freedom. Includes remembrances of fellow artists and readings from their diaries and works. 1997.

Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance

Documentary telling of the struggle of Black visual artists in the 1920's and1930's to show and sell their work. It describes the influence of the Harmon Foundation in creating an artistic home where Black visual artists flourished and developed a wide range of talent. Also included were items in the show curated by the Newark Museum to celebrate the work of the Foundation. Dist.: PBS. 57 min.

Alice Walker on Zora Neale Hurston.

Discussion and reading at the American Poetry Archives, San Francisco State University, 10/20/80. (running time not listed) [preservation copy]

As I Remember It: A Portrait of Dorothy West

This portrait of author West provides a fascinating glimpse into the African American middle class in the 20's and the New Negro Movement. Explores the forgotten role of women in the Harlem Renaissance. Directed by Salem Mekuria. c1991. 56 min.

Related web sites: Women Make Movies catalog description

Bessie Smith and Friends.

Miscellaneous musical shorts, including the Nicholas Brothers, Eubie Blake, Teddy Wilson, and others. 39 min.

Black Fiction in America Roger Rosenblatt. [Audio Recording]

Excerpted from Roger Rosenblatt's book: Black fiction. Cassette 1. Introduction -- Native Son (1940) / R. Wright -- Cassette 2. Native Son (1940) / R. Wright -- Go tell it on the mountain (1953) / J. Baldwin -- Cassette 3. Go tell it on the mountain (1953) / J. Baldwin -- Cane (1923) / J. Toomer -- Big boy leaves home (1938) / R. Wright --Home to Harlem (1927) / C. McKay -- Their eyes were watching God (1937) / Z. Hurston -- Best of Simple (1961) / L. Hughes -- Cassette 4. Not without laughter (1930) / L. Hughes -- Uncalled (1896) / P. Dunbar -- Cassette 5. -- Country place (1947) / A.

Black History Month 1992: Race and culture, Race and Identity. [Audio Recording]

Side B ("Race and identity"), Jeffrey C. Stewart and Hortense Spillers discuss ethnicity and the Harlem Renaissance social critic Alain Locke. 1992. c 30 min.

Black Jazz & Blues.

All-black musical shorts from 1929-1945, starring Duke Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, Billie Holliday, Louis Jordan, Bessie Smith, James P. Johnson, and others. 44 min.

Blue Melodies (Hollywood Rhythm: Paramount Musical Shorts; 3)

Directed by Various, Paramount: Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life - Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday (1935); Those Blues - Vincent Lopez (1932); Ol' King Cotton - George Dewey Washington (1930); A Bundle of Blues - Duke Ellington, Ivie Anderson (1933); Jitterbug Party - Cab Calloway (1934); Her Future - Ethel Merman (1930); St. Louis Blues - Bessie Smith (1929); Blue of the Night - Bing Crosby (1933).Eight mini musicals featuring landmark performances by the legends of jazz and blues from the early years of sound film production.

Pages