The Publications of the Harlem Renaissance

During the Harlem Renaissance, spreading the word of achievements throughout the black community was crucial to the New Negro Movement. There were many black owned newspapers but few black owned magazines. Many writers turned to the magazines to showcase their talents. Even artists were given a chance to show their work. The magazine was the most popular medium of the Renaissance and the African American community supported it with pride.

The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races

This publication was the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's (N.A.A.C.P.) official magazine. W.E.B. Du Bois was the editor and Jessie Redmont Fauset was the literary editor. Many writers of the Harlem Renaissance got their start with their work being published in the Crisis. The main focus of this publication was to make the African American community aware of political and social issues.

The Opportunity: A Journey of a Negro Life
The Opportunity  was founded by Charles Spurgeon Johnson. Johnson was a sociologist who believed that racial equality was obtainable in the United States. He had faith that whites would accept blacks if they just got the opportunity to  hang out and get to know each other. The Opportunity was created so that the writers of the New Negro Movemnt  could gain national recognition for their talented writings. Johnson decided to sponsor writing contests to help a lot of struggling artists. The Opportunity  was the National Urban League's official magazine . The magazine opened up a lot of doors for the writers of the Renaissance.

The Messenger

The goals of this publication were somewhat the opposites from other magazines that were out during this time period. Messenger's editors were A. Phillip Randolph and Chandler Owen. Both editors were socialist who believed that African Americans should look at social and political problems in different ways. Their views made many people uneasy. Both editors were jailed because of their antigovernment beliefs. Many copies of the Messenger were confiscated and burned in anger.


Wallace Thurman was the editor of this publication. The goal of this publication was to address issues that magazines such as the Crisis and the Opportunity would not. Issues such as hatred among the black race, sex, and racism were some of the chosen subjects. Fire was created for the younger generation. Authors such as Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, and Nella Larsen were eager to contribute to the first issue. Unfortunately, due to lack of support from the African American elite, Fire only had one issue that was published. The magazine literally went up in flames when the building that housed copies of the publication burned down,