In the book Yawp, African Americans in the 1920s were largely affected by WWI. Many of them moved North to find work in industries during WWI, and they stayed after the war. The author focuses on the Harlem community which was the epicenter for black cultural revival during the 1920s. He mentions Alain Locke's 1925 book The New Negro, which examines black achievements and moving from a culture of "subservience" to "emancipation." The book Yawp also describes the Harlem Renaissance and the contributions of Langston Huges and Duke Ellington. The book also describes continued discrimination against the black community when it mentions artists having to use service entries as well as segregated accommodations and restrooms, degradations which were the norm even for famous celebrities in the literary and musical world.
Yawp goes on to mention Marcus Garvey and his "back to Africa" movement. The Garveyite movement was empowering as it focused on black people's ability to leave and create a new society. Others in the black community criticized it as it seemed to promote giving up on trying to change American society by ending discrimination at home.
There were many factors that led to the rise of black culture in the 1920s. One was the creation of large communities in the North where black people could share their culture. War veterans could join together and share their experiences as well. Black performers taking the stage on Broadway was quite instrumental as minstrel shows gradually fell out of favor, though one of the most iconic movies of the period was The Jazz Singer. While African Americans were not treated fairly on radio or in the movies, their talents were at least appreciated in some stage venues. The rise of the Ku Klux Klan was instrumental in promoting Garveyism as the decade saw an increase in lynchings and race riots.