HARLEM RENAISSANCE

WORLD presents the new Harlem Renaissance line from Emperial Nation. Emperial Nation is dedicated and motto is using beautiful collections of historic photographs preserved through fashion & the arts. A Black History Month exclusive.

Harlem Renaissance:
Location: New York City
Date: 1920-1940

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ALPHA PHI ALPHA:
Alpha Phi Alpha is the first established African American intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity.
A handful of African American students at Cornell University founded this organization to unite against the intense racial environment on campus. The founders of this fraternity went on to become prominent professors, physicians and architects.

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The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement centered in NYC. This movement was fueled by the emerging African American middle class created by job opportunities during WORLD War 1. This was the beginning of the acceptance of African Americans with in mainstream America on contributing to new music,arts,theater,politics and sports.

Once called the Spartan Braves, was a leading contender for the black national championship title however they had no home court. Team manager Bob Douglas made a deal with the owner of the new Renaissance Ballroom to use the ballroom as home court in exchange for changing their name to “New York Renaissance”. The “Rens” became America’s first all black, black owned, and professional basketball team. They dominated American basketball leagues for over 25years. In the height of their prime they won 88 games straight in one season.

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Jack Johnson was born Arthur John Johnson in Galveston, Texas. He got his start in boxing as a sparing partner. He first became heavyweight champion of the Negro boxing league. Jim Jeffries, the white champ at the time, refused to fight Johnson because he was black. In 1908, Johnson knocked out Tommy Burns in Australia to become world champion, although he was not officially given the title until 1910 when he finally fought and beat Jeffries in Las Vegas. Jeffries had come out of retirement to become the first of many so-called “great white hopes.” The Texas Legislature banned films of Johnson’s victories over white fighters. For more than thirteen years, Jack Johnson was the most famous, and the most notorious African-American in the world.

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ELLA JANE FITZGERALD:
Ella Fitzgerald also known as “Lady Ella” and the “First Lady of Song”, is considered one of the most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th century. Ella’s first love was dance. At the age of 15 she became a contestant in amateur night at the Apollo as a dancer. Once on stage she got cold feet and began to sing her favorite song. Her unknown singing skills help her win the grand prize and launched her career in music. In her career she recorded 70 albums and more than 2,000 songs.

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DUKE ELLINGTON:
Born Edward Kennedy Ellington, he was one of the founding fathers of jazz music. He started playing piano at the age of seven, and by the time he was 15, he was composing. A pianist, band leader, arranger, and composer. Ellington and his band played together for over 50 years. He received his nickname of “Duke” from a childhood friend who commented on his elegant manners, bearing, and dress. In 1927 he became the house musician at the legendary Cotton Club.

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The predecessor of the Cotton Club was Club DeLux which was owned by heavyweight champion Jack Johnson. Johnson sold his club to gangster Owney Madden. Madden changed the name to Cotton Club to make the club appear as a stylish plantation. All of the performers were black and the guests were white only. In its prime the Cotton Club was the king of New York City nightlife. Only the wealthy elite, celebrities and notorious could get in.

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One Response to “HARLEM RENAISSANCE”

  1. good pick on the shirts!! they are mad HoT! – Rico

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