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Presentation Explores the Harlem Renaissance and Kansas

Lem Sheppard.jpg

ESU Special Collections and Archives will host “The Harlem Renaissance,” a presentation and discussion by Lem Sheppard, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in the Learning Commons of William Allen White Library. Members of the community are invited to attend the free program.

The booming, experimental period in American history known as the Harlem Renaissance exposed the world to the arts and culture of African-Americans. But it was also a time of struggle when society failed to respond to issues of civil rights and social equality. Using jazz, blues, spirituals, and poetry, this presentation spans the 1920s and explores the contributions of Kansas artists involved in this unique moment.

Lem Sheppard is a blues guitarist, singer and historian based in Pittsburg, Kansas.

“Many of the artist active during the Harlem Renaissance came from places outside Harlem — cities like Washington D.C. and Kansas City,” said Sheppard. “When I learned this, I began to view Kansas in the time period through a different lens.”

“The Harlem Renaissance” is part of Humanities Kansas's “Movement of Ideas” Speakers Bureau, featuring presentations and workshops designed to share stories that inspire, spark conversations that inform, and generate insights that strengthen civic engagement.

About Humanities Kansas

Humanities Kansas is an independent nonprofit spearheading a movement of ideas to empower the people of Kansas to strengthen their communities and our democracy. Since 1972, our pioneering programming, grants, and partnerships have documented and shared stories to spark conversations and generate insights. Together with our partners and supporters, we inspire all Kansans to draw on history, literature, ethics, and culture to enrich their lives and serve the communities and state we all proudly call home. Visit