Your world is as big as you make it.
I know, for I used to abide
In the narrowest nest in a corner,
My wings pressing close to my side.
But I sighted the distant horizon
Where the skyline encircled the sea
And I throbbed with a burning desire
To travel this immensity.
I battered the cordons around me
And cradled my wings on the breeze,
Then soared to the uttermost reaches
With rapture, with power, with ease!
–Georgia Douglas Johnson
Georgia Douglas Johnson was a writer, musician, and educator during the Harlem Renaissance. Raised in Georgia, she later moved to Washington, D.C., with her husband. The family home served as a hub for prominent Black writers and intellectuals of the Renaissance within the nation’s capital, hosting gatherings that became known as the S Street Salon or the Saturday Nighters. Like other aspiring Black authors of the period, she was published in The Crisis, from the NAACP. The above description of freeing her wings captures the courage and self-determination that were central to the Great Migration and Harlem Renaissance. In many ways, Johnson and other writers, artists, actors, activists, and musicians of this era laid a foundation for creative Black Americans today.