Leading Intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance:

It was not simply artists and musicians who influenced the movement. The philosophies of many politicians, and founders of groups what advocated for black rights, helped contribute to the movement by writing, creating political groups, and much more. 

Marcus Garvey (1887-1940)

Marcus Garvey was a leading intellectual during the Harlem Renaissance. Garvey was self taught, and until he was 14 years old, attended school in Jamaica. While working in Costa Rica and Panama, Garvey became aware of the discrimination that his people, the African Americans, faced. He traveled to London in 1912, where he learned about Booker T Washington’s autobiography, which greatly influenced his movement. So in 1914, Garvey returned to Jamaica where he founded the United Negro Improvement Association, in order to create stronger connections between African Americans. Garvey became known as a rising “black Moses”, had gained roughly 2 million followers. In the Association’s Liberty Hall of Harlem, Garvey spoke about the “new negro”, and showed his pride for his race. At the time, Garvey also wrote a newspaper called the Negro World. This newspaper explained exploits of heroes of his race, as well as praising the African culture. Garvey’s teachings included the idea that African Americans would only be respected if they were strong, economically, and so as a result, he created chains of restaurants, hotels, laundries, a printing press, and much more for the black people in the United States.

An advertisement from Marcus Garvey's UNIA paper, the Negro World

A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979)

A. Philip Randolph was born of April 15th, 1889.  He moved to Jacksonville, where he attended the Cookman Institute, with his brothers. After graduating, he worked different odd jobs, but dedicated much of his time to singing, acting and reading. He was convinced by W.E.B Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk to fight for social equality, for his people. In 1911, he moved to New York City. Randolph joined the Socialist Party, and started to inform people on 135Street and Lenox avenue about socialism. He was asked in 1917 to edit a monthly magazine for the society, known as the Messenger. The magazine tried to find balance between the NAACP and the utopian populism of the UNIA. Randolph contributed to African American rights beyond editing a magazine in Harlem, NY. He became a widely known spokesman, and founded a League against military segregation in the army, which was later ended by President Truman.

"Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship."

Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/a/a_philip_randolph.html#ixzz1ObsQzA2R
Issue of The Messenger

The Crisis Magazine

This was established by W.E.B Du Bois, a major advocate for black rights during the Harlem Renaissance, and throughout history. It was established by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), and would stand for (as quoted) " for the rights of men, irrespective of color or race, for the highest ideals of American democracy, and for reasonable but earnest and persistent attempts to gain these rights and realize these ideals." The Crisis was read by many African Americans, and even some white sympathizers. Du Bois was able to talk about many things in the magazine, such as Jim Crow Laws, lynching, and other inequalities that African Americans faced at the time. It was important to the Harlem Renaissance, because as it was circulated more, such issues were brought to the public, more so than they ever had been before. 
Issue of the magazine