The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that specified toward African American. Another name for it was the "New Negro Movement", and it was mainly centered in Harlem, New York. Until the ending of the Civil War, most of the Blacks in america were slaves in the south. When slavery ended, they began to strive for Civil participation, political equality and cultural self-determination. Unfortunately, white folk gained control again, so no the blacks were like slaves, but they weren't called slaves, they were "Share Croppers", or laborers. When work became hard for them in the south decided to move towards the north.
Many of the literary writers came from the generation of those who had been through and live during the reconstruction from the civil war. Some had family members that were slaves, or their parents had enough money to give them better than average education. The first stage of the Harlem Renaissance was during the 1910, but the 1917s saw the premiere of the Three Plays for a Negro Theatre, which were writing by a white playwright named Ridgely Torrence