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Wright’s novel is a useful touchstone in relation to “We Real Cool,” if mainly to provide additional context for the poem’s comment on the social challenges facing young Black men.
As with Wright’s novel, Ellison’s story provides useful context for the poem’s comment on the social challenges facing young Black men.
Hansberry’s play was first performed in 1959, the same year that Brooks wrote “We Real Cool.” Although the themes diverge quite a bit, the fact that both works were written in the context of Black communities in Chicago makes it valuable to read them in tandem.