First and Foremost, the Harlem Reader should be a must read for anyone who would like to acquire more knowledge about Harlem, New York. This book gives a sense of the issues impacting residents of Harlem. It brings about a revelation of the struggles African-Americans went through during the “Harlem Renaissance” period. It brings to realization the issues surrounding the great migration from the southern cotton fields, plantations, and the discriminatory practices, which caused African-Americans to seek a better life in the northern cities of America in a variety of creative ways and in support of each other.
Secondly, the figurative language in this book stirs the soul and heightens ones perspective concerning the various viewpoints from a variety of prominent authors regarding Harlem. The contribution of their inspiring essays, short stories, poems, and nonfiction pieces are very enlightening and uplifting. Their combined impact is also very educational and emotional.
Next, Harlem is not only touched upon during the Harlem Renaissance years; the writings also touched upon the present and anticipated future activities in Harlem. The book shows the current state of economic development. It also shows the mistreatment of those who were not financially wealthy, or considered in the upper income class. It also highlights the lives of the financially wealthy and how they treated others. However, the African-American population was spiritually wealthy, which sustained their souls back then and will into the future.
Additionally, the contributions of great writers such as Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Dubois, Weldon Johnson, and Claude McKay will touch the soul. Also included are national liberators such as Marcus Garvey, Rev. Al Sharpton, Malcolm X, Reverend Adam Clayton Powell and others, just to name a few. These individuals are considered heroes to the people of Harlem. They have contributed so much to the strengthening of Harlem and have positively impacted the lives of the residents there in many ways; thus, they will probably never be forgotten by them.
Finally, the literary essence of this book is straight from the heart of Harlem and African-Americans. It was a pleasure for me to learn from its golden pages. This book is truly educational and inspirational. The author of this outstanding literary book, Herb Boyd, has highlighted an understanding of the essence and presence of Harlem on the world’s stage in an uplifting manner for all to learn about and enjoy while reading this excellent book.