"The Harlem Renaissance Way Down South" had its official beginnings as a lecture called The Harlem Renaissance in Savannah delivered by author-poet Aberjhani on August 28, 2004, at the Carnegie Branch Library in Savannah, Georgia, to commemorate the re-opening of the library. The branch had been closed for some seven years following damage from a storm. A book signing featuring the "Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance" and "The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois" was held in conjunction with the lecture.
The subject of The Harlem Renaissance Way Down South is the substantial contribution which African Americans from the South made to the famous cultural movement most often associated with New York City. The author Aberjhani first became aware of the profound link between the two while working as a co-author (with Sandra L. West) on the Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance.
"Significantly enough," said the author, "that link was also personified by the fact that my co-author was working on the encyclopedia in the North while I was actually in Savannah doing the same." To his surprise, he discovered that much of his research kept leading him back to his hometown: Savannah. He maintains that his research "made it clear that African Americans in the South did not just sit around waiting to be lynched during the Harlem Renaissance--as some have implied--but, whether consciously or instinctively, were active participants in the Renaissance on a number of levels, not just as migrants to the North."
Amazon.com launched the title as part of its Amazon Shorts program May 19, 2007, making it available for only 49 cents as digital media that can be downloaded, read on the website, or received as an email. It is particularly ideal for tourists planning to visit Savannah or New York City as well as for students of the Harlem Renaissance or the South in general.