Harlem renaissance writing and literature from the post Civil War period were both outlets for the feelings of suffering African Americans. These black Americans though persevering great hardships, wrote beautifully. The pain and agony that went into writing these works are what makes the literature so rich. From these two movements of writing came wonderful stories and poems with much culture and history inside.
One of the things that make Harlem renaissance and post-civil war writing so intriguing is the diction. Both literary periods had their own unique dialect. In the stories and novels that we have read from the post civil war period sometimes the broken English is not so easy to understand and often times in the Harlem literature some of the words seem like gibberish. Good examples of literature from the era containing a distinct dialect are any of Uncle Remus's tories. Even though the audience may not always get the meaning of the different slang words used, this genre of literature gives readers a taste of the culture and separates Harlem Renaissance and post civil war writings.
The post Civil War literature is usually long or short stories written by slaves or ex-slaves about their fight and longing for freedom. Many of the stories are biographical and include gruesome images of the horrors of slavery and even how they escaped to freedom. "The Narratives of the Life of Frederick Douglass" is an interesting story that tells firsthand about the period. The literature from the Harlem Renaissance period is more poetic than that of post civil war. These stories or prose are about how African Americans still suffer from hardships due to prejudice.
Langston Hughes is a well-known author whose poems exemplify the Harlem Renaissance Period. Both literary movements are inspired by the hardships of blacks but are in different time periods and circumstances. It is hard to imagine that institutions so awful as slavery and so terrible as prejudice could spur such wonderful literary movements. The post Civil war and Harlem Renaissance literature are both from times of American past that we would like to forget but contain some of the most powerful and influential writings in the world.