Museum intern Gregory-Lucas-Myers takes a look at the legacy of the historic New York Rens basketball team, who will be honored at the 2012 Ford Freedom Awards gala on May 17, 2012.
The Harlem Renaissance is well-known as a period of African-American intellectual and cultural growth, centered in its namesake Manhattan neighborhood, during the 1920’s and 30’s. During this time, writers, musicians, artists, and leaders such as Zora Neale Hurston, Palmer Hayden, Dizzy Gillespie, and W.E.B. Du Bois came to popular prominence among the black urban populations growing in the country. One aspect of the Harlem Renaissance that is often overlooked, however, is another type of Renaissance, one that made its home in the hustle and bustle of a Harlem ballroom. Or rather, literally, it was made into a “ball” room.