Review by Choice Review
The Harlem Renaissance, of great interest as the most creative period in African American cultural life, illustrates how African Americans functioned in the first half of the 20th century--culturally, socially, artistically, economically. Wintz and Finkelman's encyclopedia exceeds in power and scholarship all other reference works on the Harlem Renaissance. Coverage, described in the preface, is broad, deep, and scholarly. Besides a seven-page alphabetical list of entries, the editors include an eight-page thematic list of entries that includes persons (singers, actors, playwrights, publishers), works (plays, films, theater), and topics (concepts, ideologies, events, themes). The topic "Harlem" is divided into cultural and political categories, and "Harlem Renaissance" into geographical pieces (Boston, California, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas, Philadelphia, the South, Texas, and Washington, DC). The price may put this title out of reach for some libraries. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All collections. A. C. Vara Temple University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review
The Harlem Renaissance continues to attract academic interest across disciplines, and this set reflects that interest as well as the diversity in scholarship devoted to the topic. Debate still rages among critics about the origins, scope, and legacy of the Harlem Renaissance. In 639 entries, this encyclopedia not only covers these and other expected aesthetic issues--literature, art, and music--but also the historical, political, and socioeconomic environment in which the movement took place. Almost half of the entries are biographical, encompassing actors, politicians, musicians, writers, patrons, and more. Other entries cover specific literary or theatrical works or productions; places ( Apollo Theater0 , 135th Street Library0 ); organizations ( Black Star Line, Harlem Globetrotters0 , Negro Art Theater0 ); and periodicals ( Chicago Defender,0 The Nation0 ). Also discussed are topics such as Blues, Federal Writer's Project,0 and White patronage.0 The series of entries headed Harlem Renaissance in the United States 0 deals with the movement in Boston, California, and Chicago, among other places. The encyclopedia's more than 250 contributors range from academics to artists. Entries are alphabetically arranged and individually authored, and each one is followed by a list of "Further Reading." Many also contain see also0 references, and for artists, a list of major works (books, movies, recordings, etc.). Most entries are less than a page long, though substantive essays of about three to five pages are provided on some of the more influential artists, performers, or works. Other longer entries include topics like Art criticism and the Harlem Renaissance, Civil rights and law,0 Europe and the Harlem Renaissance 0 (with subentries on Berlin, London, Paris, and the Soviet Union), and Riots.0 There are even entries devoted to artists or works inspired by 0 the Harlem Renaissance movement (for example, Sherwood Anderson's novel Dark Laughter0 ). The entries are well written and cogent, particularly on sensitive or emotional topics like lynching and passing. The volumes also include 180 black-and-white photographs and a street map of Harlem, 1913-1930. This map highlights landmarks like the Apollo Theater and the Cotton Club as well as the residences of famous denizens like Langston Hughes and Marcus Garvey. There is also a very helpful thematic list of entries, with headings like "Nightlife," "Publishers," "Singers," and "Theater Companies." Overall, this is a significant and useful addition to reference works on the Harlem Renaissance, appealing to users seeking general outlines and summaries as well as to those needing specifics and references. It is accessible to readers on multiple levels and recommended for high-school, college, and public libraries. --Michael Tosko Copyright 2005 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review
An illustrated two-volume A-to-Z with an interdisciplinary approach to an increasingly popular subject. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.