The history of African-American literature is undoubtedly connected with the history of slavery. It primarily protests against racial discrimination, marginalization and social injustice. At the beginning of the twentieth century, African-American writers faced a plethora of serious issues: race and class inequality; challenges to morality and religion; interrogations of nationalism and the continuing problem of how to achieve a truly African-American identity in the face of complicating diversity. The quest for a distinct African-American identity leads to the development of several recurring themes like rebirth and renewal, the “self-made man,” and the melting pot that have circulated in American literature since its inception. The African-Americans have occupied a paradoxical place of simultaneous inclusion and exclusion in the history of national literature. Although they are indeed Americans and have played a crucial role in building the United States into a world power, the legacy of slavery and the ongoing, systemic racism have excluded Americans of African descent from the existing definitions and privileges of the American self.