The Negro Renaissance of the 1920s was a reflection in literature and art of the cultural changes experienced by the African Americans, as they left the rural South for the economic and social advantages to be found in northern cities. The crowded, bustling life of the northern ghettoes accelerated the breakdown of older patterns of Negro life and thought, and gave rise to the concept of the "New Negro." Although the meaning of the term was somewhat vague, it contained the implication of the Negro's psychological break with past racial attitudes of subservience, humility, and self-apology. Black writers, musicians, and painters of the Twenties attempted to give artistic expression to the more positive attitudes of self-acceptance and self-respect, which the image of the New Negro seemed to connote. 1 Rejecting past depictions of African American life by black artists as being either too polemical or too apologetic, many of the young artists of the Negro Renaissance sought to portray Negro life objectively.