Cover image for The Harlem Renaissance : an annotated reference guide for student research
The Harlem Renaissance : an annotated reference guide for student research
Rodgers, Marie E.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Englewood, Colo. : Libraries Unlimited, 1998.
Physical Description:
xvii, 139 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NX512.3.A35 R64 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating
NX512.3.A35 R64 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



This fascinating historical overview of a significant but sometimes overlooked era will serve as a valuable reference for librarians, teachers, and students in grades 7 through 12. While not standardized in the social studies curriculum, this era is one of the more commonly studied periods in multicultural units, and until now little material has been available about it. This information-packed book covers the years 1917-1933 and is organized by theme (e.g., historical and biographical references, notable contributors, literature and writing). Each section includes an overview of the topic, brief biographical sketches, and an annotated list of pertinent nonfiction references. Intended as a supplement to social studies textbooks and instruction, this work gives educators and students the information they need about this major cultural movement and the achievements of African Americans during an important era. Black-and-white photos illustrate the text.

Author Notes

MARIE E. RODGERS is Librarian at Frederick Douglass Academy, New York, New York.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Faint praise is all this slim volume gets. Meant for junior-and senior-high students, this bibliography describes fewer than 200 titles which shed light on people or major influences of the Harlem Renaissance. No fiction or foreign-language works are included, but, other than that, selection criteria are sketchy. The author, a school librarian, tried to include "primary" works, mostly published within the last 15 years. Books were included even if only a chapter or a few pages are relevant. Some of the sources are repeated in different categories. Nonprint materials include only six videos and two sound recordings. Arrangement of titles is alphabetical by author within 20 chapters, organized in six parts, beginning with "Historical Overview and Biographical References" and then focusing on "Notable Contributors," "Literature and Writing," "Visual Arts," "Performing Arts," and "Sports and Entertainment." Each chapter gets a brief introduction. Well-written annotations are a paragraph or two, giving highlights and features of the titles (photos, arrangement, grade level). The book's usefulness is hard to judge because organization seems unfocused and because so many sources have been omitted. It seems that the only periodical cited is a 1991 issue of Cobblestone. Not included anywhere are the well-reviewed Emergence of the Harlem Renaissance (Garland, 1996) and The Oxford Companion to African American Literature [RBB F 15 97], not to mention Jessie Carney Smith's Notable Black American Women (Gale, 1992). There are no listings for Web sites, such as the Library of Congress' African American Mosaic. Perry's The Harlem Renaissance (Garland, 1982) is an annotated bibliography featuring writers of the period and meant for adults. Since there's not a comparable current title, many high-school libraries will want to add this bibliography on such a popular topic. Those that don't won't miss it.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up‘A useful listing of over 200 resources about the flowering of African-American culture in New York City during the 1920s. In short chapters, Rodgers explains various social and historical aspects of this era and then presents an annotated list of print and nonprint sources. Topics include literature, photography, music, and dance along with biographical information on many figures such as Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Marcus Garvey, and Josephine Baker. Interesting black-and-white photos and reproductions appear throughout. An excellent and thorough tool.‘Janet Woodward, Garfield High School, Seattle, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Rodgers intends to assist students (grades 7-12) who wish to study the social, historical, and political aspects of the Harlem Renaissance, an artistic and sociocultural movement that flourished among African Americans, roughly 1920-33. The work has six parts: "Historical and Biographical References," "Notable Contributors," "Literature and Writing," "Visual Arts," "Performing Arts," "Sports and Entertainment." Each part contains a brief introduction, a list of important personages, and an annotated descriptive bibliography. All the titles chosen for the bibliography were published within the past 15 years and "deal specifically with some aspect of the Harlem Renaissance." A further criterion for inclusion is that the item must be historically significant and relevant for classroom use. Rodgers includes some audio- and videocassette tapes as examples of available items that will provide some authentic 1920s/30s sounds. Since the compiler includes only items published within the past 15 years--except for a few older titles--the work updates and complements Margaret Perry's comprehensive The Harlem Renaissance (CH, Feb'83) and the unique The Harlem Renaissance: A Historical Dictionary for the Era, ed. by Bruce Kellner (CH, May'85). Highly recommended as a first purchase for both high school and lower-division undergraduate students. G. T. Johnson; Central State University (OH)