McKay’s Home to Harlem

This paper discusses Claude McKay’s novel, `Home to Harlem`, and the Harlem Renaissance.

The paper explains that Claude McKay’s novel, Home to Harlem (1928), the most commercially successful book ever written at the time by an American black man, provides an eye-opening and realistic insight into the urban lives of black Americans in the early 20th century. The author points out that the Harlem Renaissance (1918 to the 1930s), mainly a literary movement of black writers, also was tied to advancements in black music, theater, and art. The paper relates that McKay’s characters are most likely a combination of the stereotyped and realistic black men from the time.
`The setting and theme of Home to Harlem is 1928 Harlem. The author expertly shows real life for the black men and women of the time. Harlem in those days was the cool place to be, yet the story still addresses in detail the overall alienation and continued frustration of the urban American blacks. The city was represented as both exciting but dangerous. There are few to no job opportunities for black men. That lack of opportunities makes them feel inferior and depressed. They could give their lives for their country militarily but there was nothing waiting for them when they returned.`