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“Wedding Band” by Alice Childress is a story of a love/hate interracial relationship between two lovers in the south. The play is set in South Carolina in 1918. “Wedding Band” truly captures the essence of the time and place in which the play was set in. That era (1915-1931) is one of the most significant in the history of this young nation. The decade of the 1920’s is often characterized as a period of American prosperity and optimism. It was the “Roaring Twenties,” the decade of the bath tub gin, the model T, the $5 work day, the first transatlantic flight, and the movie. It was a high point in African-American history as well. The Harlem Renaissance took shape; it was a time when African Americans began an intellectual movement. Harlem became the center of African-American culture. Most African-Americans began a movement to rethink their values and appreciation of their roots and Africa. The “Great Migration” began at this time. Approximately two million Southern blacks move to northern industrial centers in hopes to escape the oppressive nature of the deep south. However, for every upside their is a downside. The decade was a period of rising intolerance and isolation. Americans retreated into a provincialism evidenced by the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the anti radical hysteria of the Palmer raids, restrictive immigration laws, and prohibition. Influenza and the first world war brought an alarming amount of Americans to an early death. Racial motivated riots spread throughout the country and protests endorsing and condemning racism were the norm. Life in the south was at most times unbearable for the blacks, and many felt that the southern atmosphere had such a suffocating affect on them that escape was the best option. African-Americans were showing their pain inside, little by little proving themselves to the racist whites in the south that they were somebody, not a property, but a human being with self worth and dignity who should be treated equally. The main place that the black southerners were blinded of was the urban places in the north. These were the places that captured their attention. Many of the southerners who were enslaved or sons and daughters of enslaved Africans began to migrate in the northern cities. These were the places where they began to live a life of independence and freedom. The migration of the black southerners was a success.

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