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Though Du Bois’s masterpiece preceded Hughes’s poem by nearly half a century, it’s worth connecting readers to this key work that established the intellectual foundations for discourse on Black liberation throughout the twentieth century.
Like Hughes, Hurston was a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Her novel, first published in 1937, explored themes that interested many figures in the movement, such as the struggle for Black liberation and fulfillment.
Hansberry wrote this play in the early 1950s, but the play echoes the predominant themes of the Harlem Renaissance. This echo is evident in the title, which comes from the second line of “Harlem.”