William H. Johnson arrived in Harlem in1918 from Florence, South Carolina, at the onset of the Harlem Renaissance. Considered a major American artist, he attended the National Academy of Arts and studies under Charles Hawthorne.
Students explore poetry using the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1940 collection of American Memory, which covers personal stories collected by the Works Progress Administration. The collection includes interviews relating to the Harlem Renaissance.
To better understand the turn-of-the-century United States, this interdisciplinary lesson integrates use of primary resources with historical and literary analysis. Students explore interviews relating to the Harlem Renaissance from the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 to 1940 collection.