Spanning the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance was an intellectual, social and artistic explosion centered in Harlem, New York. Named at the time after the 1925 anthology ‘The New Negro’ edited by Alain Locke, the movement included the new African-American cultural expressions across the urban areas in the Northeast and Midwest United States affected by the Great Migration. Though it was centered in the Harlem neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan, in New York City, many French black writers from African and Caribbean colonies who lived in Paris were also influenced by the movement. Contemporary of the modernist train of thought arising from Western Europe, the Harlem Renaissance took heavily from the same, resulting in a sort of rebirth of the African-American arts.
The Harlem Renaissance was successful in the fact that it brought the African-American experience clearly within the corpus of American cultural history. Not only through an explosion of culture, but on a sociological level, the legacy of the renaissance redefined how America and the rest of the world, viewed African-Americans.
‘The New Negroes’ is a socially aware, hybrid stand up comedy music live show that airs on Comedy Central and is created by American comedian Baron Vaughn and rapper Open Mike Eagle. The show features stand up acts as well as original music videos with Open Mike Eagle alongside a guest recording artist.
While describing the show, co-host Eagle said, “Our series gets its title and its mission from a book named ‘The New Negro’ (mentioned earlier) by Alain Locke. That book was a collection of essays, poetry, fiction, and music from a generation of artists credited with launching the Harlem Renaissance. In other words, it was a place where black people shared their lives, their perspectives, and their ideals. It was a place where black people could define themselves instead of being defined by others. Our show aspires to do the same with stand-up comedy, music and music videos. We’re paying homage to that original movement by inviting comedians and musicians to do what they do best: speak.”
The New Negroes Cast: Who’s in it?
Executive produced by Eagle, Vaughn, Lance Bangs, Funny or Die’s Mike Farah, and Gary Sanchez productions’ Betsy Koch, each episode of ‘The New Negroes’ features stand-up acts and musicians, eventually ending with a music video in collaboration with co-host Eagle.
The first episode features stand up acts by Donnell Rawlings, Ed Greer and Lil Rel Howery, and musician MF Doom. Stand-up comics David Gborie, Candice Thompson and Tone Bell feature in the following episode, with musicians Phonte and The Lucas Brothers. The third episode sees stand-up sets by Sonia Denis, Sasheer Zamata and Clayton English with music from Lizzo. Following their acts in the fourth episode are comedians Naomi Ekperigin, Kevin Avery and Alonzo Bodden and musicians Father, Brodie Reed and Jamie Loftus. The fifth episode of the series feature stand-up comics Dulce Sloan, Yassir Lester and George Wallace and musicians Method Man, Quinta Brunson, Tawny Newsome, Malcolm Barrett, David Maxime and Kevin Avery. Last two episodes feature comedians Richard Douglas Jones, Sam Jay, Ian Edwards, Moshe Kasher, Josh Johnson, Will Miles and Dwayne Kennedy, and musicians Sammus and Phonte.