It has been about a week since we started looking at the life of Harry Burleigh, and I have learned much more than I expected over this short time. I was initially tasked with mapping Burleigh’s relationships in the context of the Harlem Renaissance, which is a really interesting topic. Burleigh, Will Marion Cook, William Grant Still, and J. Rosamond Jonshon were one aspect of music in the Harlem Renaissance while figures like Duke Ellington and various stride pianists were on the other.1 So far I have found that Burleigh had contact with many of the main figures of the Harlem Renaissance but has often existed in other, whiter spaces of New York such as St. George’s and Temple Emmanu-El.2 All in all I think a lot of the research I have done concerning the Harlem Renaissance has been useful in just collecting the information on Burleigh, but I find it hard to figure out how to map it. Maybe that is still to come. Here is a simple map of a lot of the locations of Burleigh’s life.
A simple map of Burleigh locations
I don’t plan on doing much more with this map other than adding pictures and cleaning up the user interface. From here there are a number of paths I could take. I could try to continue on the Harlem Renaissance path, or I could completely change my focus and start mapping Dvorak’s Symphony no. 9, or I could start working more on the Burleigh world map, or I could start looking at the spread of spirituals before, during, and after Burleigh’s prime. Personally I think I’ll start with the Dvorak then move on the world map and add the Harlem Renaissance back in if there is enough time. I think someone else will do the spirituals.
See Jessie’s post for examples of good letters that could be included in a map. With a Dvorak map I would put in parts of his music that were directly influenced by people or places that he met.
1 Floyd, Samuel A. Black Music in the Harlem Renaissance : A Collection of Essays. Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ; No. 128. New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
2 Snyder, Jean E. Harry T. Burleigh: From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance, University of Illinois Press, 2016. 122