Miss Anne in Harlem

The White Women of the Black Renaissance

by Carla Kaplan

If you have any knowledge of the Harlem Renaissance or have read any biography of its luminaries, like Zora Neale Hurston or Langston Hughes, you have come across mentions of the White benefactors that helped this movement along. At a time when it was considered cool for White men to hang in Harlem at the speakeasies and such, it was not as acceptable for White women to do the same and still protect their reputations. What they were able to do is provide emotional, professional and mainly financial support so that the artists of the Harlem Renaissance were able to create freely.

Kaplan has done a great job of researching the backgrounds of six of these women because almost all of them (and their families) did everything they could to keep their participation a secret, leaving very little records behind. Because of the lack of information available, the narrative can get a little too scholarly and repetitive at times. However, the knowledge gained about these women, their motives and desires, is worth trudging through the slow parts.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary e-book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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