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A Renaissance of Jazz and Poetry
Assessment Choice A
Activity 1
Read the poems and listen to the songs from the list
below. Identify the theme or message for each one. Then search
for a modern poem or song that has a theme that is parallel with
one of the works from the list. On the designated day, bring a
copy of the poem or song lyrics to class.
A List of Works Inspired by the Harlem Renaissance:
“The Loss of Love” by Countee Cullen
“Saturday’s Child” by Countee Cullen
“God Bless the Child” by Billie Holiday
“As I Grow Older” by Langston Hughes
“Back Water Blues�” by Bessie Smith
Activity 2
Using your notes and your copies of the poems and
songs, write a three paragraph essay comparing the modern work to
the piece inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. In the first
paragraph, state the themes of the two works. How are messages
similar or different? Cite specific passages to support your
answer. In the second paragraph, describe the tempo of the music.
What overall mood or feeling does it convey? Does the poem
reflect the same tone? How are they the same? How are they
different? In the final paragraph, reflect on the influence (if
any) that the Harlem Renaissance has had on the poetry and music
of today.