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Harlem Renaissance Coloring Book by Atlanta Artist Corey Barksdale

Experience Harlem in the 1920's through the many vivid colors that you create on your very own Harlem Renaissance coloring book illustrations by Atlanta Artist Corey Barksdale.

Harlem Renaissance Coloring Book by Atlanta artist Corey Barksdale - ORDER YOUR COPY TODAY!

Order Your Book Today!



Harlem in the 1920s saw a creative outburst of art, culture and music that is yet to find a match. Creative Art Connection is now presenting a chance to experience and connect with Harlem through the launch of its first ever adult coloring book by Atlanta based artist, Corey Barksdale.


The new coloring book is where the budding artist can paint in myriad colors the desires, aspirations and struggles of African-Americans that Harlem stood for in the past. Connecting to a higher level of consciousness is what adult coloring books are all about. Whether classical or cubist, amateur or professional, anyone willing to spare a few hours can experience the highs of artistic meditation.


From street life to nature, close portraits and landscapes, there is no aspect of life that remains untouched in the bare, blank pages of the Harlem Renaissance Coloring Book. There are contours to be filled up, eyes to be given a personal expression, and an old era to be brought alive and given new forms and meanings as seen through the present. Corey Barksdale hails from Nashville, Tennessee, and carries his family’s artistic tradition. His inclination towards design and details was set in motion by his grandmother, who was a quilt artist, and his mother who taught him to see details with intuition.


Corey earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the prestigious Atlanta College of Art. His early art imbibed the creative strains of mainstream artists such as Jasper Johns, Clifford Still, and William deKooning. His love for African-American art derives inspiration from masters such as Aaron Douglas, John Biggers, Romere Bearden, and William Tolliver.


Creative Art Connection has earned fame as the place where amateurs, budding artists and professionals spend hours giving form and shape to the most basic human elements. The organization promotes artistic values and endeavors through a host of activities including regular art classes in Atlanta, Decatur kids parties, mobile art parties and fundraisers. Their online store can be accessed for membership, merchandise, buying or commissioning art, and for internships and volunteer jobs.


The Great Migration was the major historical backbone of the Harlem Renaissance. Sure, slavery and the Civil War were important too, because without those two things, people wouldn't have wanted to flee the South in the first place.

But in terms of immediate historical relevance, the Great Migration really made the Harlem Renaissance happen. See, during World War I, job opportunities opened up in northern factories. (There's really nothing like a world war to increase employment.) So, African Americans migrated from the South to the North—especially cities like New York City.

And the war provided them with profitable jobs, which meant they had money to spend. Even more importantly, these new northern immigrants were interested in the hope of a new life and a new racial identity, away from slavery's stranglehold on the South.

All in all, then, the Great Migration allowed for a critical mass of black people to create the major creative movement we now know as the Harlem Renaissance.

Harlem in the 1920s
West 125th Street is now perceived to be the heart of black Harlem, but in the 1920s there were more whites than blacks on that thoroughfare. You had to travel 10 blocks, or one subway stop, further north to find the unbroken sea of black faces that signified Harlem. The first building given over to black tenants, in 1903, stood on West 134th Street, and it was from that hub that subsequent waves of migrants from the South and immigrants from the West Indies pushed out the boundaries of black settlement.

Boundaries of the area of Harlem dominated by blacks
In 1920, the area occupied entirely by blacks stretched from 130th Street to 144th Street and Fifth Avenue to Eighth Avenue, an area of forty-eight blocks that was home to 73, 000 people. Five years later, black Harlem reached south to 128th Street, and, below 135th Street, east to Park Avenue. By 1930, blacks, now numbering over 200,000, almost one fifth of whom hailed from the West Indies, had spilled over Eighth Avenue to Amsterdam Avenue and the heights overlooking central Harlem as far south as 130th Street, moved north to 160th Street, and had begun to settle as far south as 110th Street, where their neighbors were not white, but Spanish-speakers from Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

If the influx of southerners and West Indians made this district black, they did not render it a homogenous place. In addition to the areas in which better-off blacks made their homes, Strivers Row on West 139th Street and, late in the 1920s, Sugar Hill on Edgecombe Avenue, there were other distinctive neighbourhoods in Harlem.

Interesting Harlem Renaissance Facts:
In 1914 only about 50,000 African Americans called Harlem their home. By 1930 Harlem had grown to a population of 200,000 African Americans. This migration is referred to as the 'Great Migration' and began during World War I.

Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr., ONH (17 August 1887 – 10 June 1940), was a Jamaican political leader, publisher, journalist, entrepreneur, and orator who was a proponent of the Pan-Africanism movement, to which end he founded the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA-ACL). He also founded the Black Star Line, a shipping and passenger line which promoted the return of the African diaspora to their ancestral lands.

Prior to the 20th century, leaders such as Prince Hall, Martin Delany, Edward Wilmot Blyden, and Henry Highland Garnet advocated the involvement of the African diaspora in African affairs. Garvey was unique in advancing a Pan-African philosophy to inspire a global mass movement and economic empowerment focusing on Africa known as Garveyism. Promoted by the UNIA as a movement of African Redemption, Garveyism would eventually inspire others, ranging from the Nation of Islam to the Rastafari movement (some sects of which proclaim Garvey as a prophet.)

Garveyism intended persons of African ancestry in the diaspora to "redeem" the nations of Africa and for the European colonial powers to leave the continent. His essential ideas about Africa were stated in an editorial in Negro World entitled "African Fundamentalism", where he wrote: "Our union must know no clime, boundary, or nationality… to let us hold together under all climes and in every country…"

Sarah Breedlove (December 23, 1867 – May 25, 1919), known as Madam C. J. Walker, was an African American entrepreneur, philanthropist, and a political and social activist. Eulogized as the first female self-made millionaire in America, she became one of the wealthiest African American women in the country, "the world's most successful female entrepreneur of her time," and one of the most successful African-American business owners ever.

Walker made her fortune by developing and marketing a line of beauty and hair products for black women through Madame C.J. Walker Manufacturing Company, the successful business she founded. Walker was also known for her philanthropy and activism. She made financial donations to numerous organizations and became a patron of the arts. Villa Lewaro, Walker’s lavish estate in Irvington-on-Hudson, New York, served as a social gathering place for the African American community.