Musicians ,poets and writers. Not only black literature but other forms of expression by the blacks including the Jazz and Blues were the contribution of this movement. In fact 1920s are registered as the Jazz Age in the history of America.
The core issue projected by the Harlem renaissance is the notion of “two-ness”, a divided awareness of one’s identity. W.E. B. Du Bois, one of the leaders of the movement introduces this theme of divided identity of the blacks, in his influential book, “The Souls of the Black Folks” (1903). “One ever feels his two-ness – an American and a negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled stirrings; two warring ideals in a black body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”.(Souls of the Black Folks, PP5).
It is the spirit of the Harlem renaissance that is the essence of the play A Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry. She declares this indebt ness by taking the title of the play from the famous poem by Langston Hughes quoted above. Till this play the blacks were given only small and comic roles in theatre largely as ethnic stereotypes. Thus this play for the first time brings the life of the black family to the centre stage. She uses black vernacular through out the play, which is usually considered as an inferior shade of the language, by the whites. The play deals with the same concern that Du Bois raises, of the black identity in an oppressive white majority society. It deals with the issues and conflicts such as poverty, discrimination and the construction of African –American identity. The back drop is America of the fifties, just following the World War two, which was considered as years of prosperity with happy housewives and the blacks content with their inferior status. This rosy picture of the American society of the fifties gets canceled in this play which exposes