Humanities › History & Culture Literary Timeline of the Harlem Renaissance Share Flipboard Email Print Fred Stein Archive / Archive Photos / Getty Images History & Culture African American History Major Figures and Events The Black Freedom Struggle Important Figures Civil Rights Slavery & Abolition Segregation and Jim Crow American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Genealogy Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More By Femi Lewis African American History Expert M.S.Ed, Secondary Education, St. John's University M.F.A., Creative Writing, City College of New York B.A., English, City College of New York Femi Lewis is a writer and educator who specializes in African American history topics, including enslavement, activism, and the Harlem Renaissance. our editorial process Femi Lewis Updated November 19, 2019 The Harlem Renaissance is a period in American history marked by an explosion of expression by African-American and Caribbean writers, visual artists and musicians. Established and supported by organizations such as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Urban League (NUL), Harlem Renaissance artists explored themes such as legacy, racism, oppression, alienation, rage, hope and pride through the creation of novels, essays, plays, and poetry. In its 20-year span, Harlem Renaissance writers created an authentic voice for African-Americans that showed their humanity and desire for equality in the United States' society. 1917 Asa Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen co-found the political and literary magazine, The Messenger. 1919 Writer and educator Jessie Redmon Fauset becomes the literary editor of the NAACP's publication, The Crisis. 1922 Claude McKay publishes his first volume of poetry, Harlem Shadows. The collection is considered the first major text of the Harlem Renaissance.James Weldon Johnson's anthology, Book of American Negro Poetry, is published. 1923 Jean Toomer's Cane is published.The NUL establishes the journal, Opportunity. Charles S. Johnson serves as the journal's editor. 1924 As editor of Opportunity, Johnson hosts a dinner at the Civic Club in New York City. This dinner is considered the official launching of the Harlem Renaissance. 1925 The literary magazine, Survey Graphic, publishes a special issue, Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro. The issue is edited by Alain Locke.Color, Countee Cullen's first collection of poetry is published. 1926 Locke edits the anthology, The New Negro. The collection is an expanded version of Survey Graphic's, Harlem issue.Langston Hughes publishes his first book of poetry, The Weary Blues.The short-lived literary and artistic magazine, Fire!! is published. Hughes, Wallace Thurman, Zora Neale Hurston, Aaron Douglas, and Richard Bruce Nugent are founding editors of the magazine.White writer Carl Van Vechten publishes Nigger Heaven. 1927 James Weldon Johnson's collection of poems, God's Trombones, inspired by sermons of African-American preachers is published. 1928 McKay publishes his first novel, Home to Harlem. The text becomes the first bestselling novel by an African-American author. 1929 Thurman publishes his first novel, The Blacker the Berry. 1930 Hughes' novel, Not Without Laughter, is published.Journalist George Schuyler publishes the satirical novel, Black No More. 1932 Sterling Brown's collection of poetry, Southern Road, is published. 1933 Public Works Administration (PWA) and Works Progress Administration (WPA) are established. Both agencies provide jobs to many African-American artists, such as Hurston. 1937 Hurston's second novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God, is published. The novel is considered the last novel of the Harlem Renaissance.