The abolition of slavery had a large impact on the thoughts and writings of African Americans. On one hand, the search for definition and identity in consciousness became a large and critical concern for Black thinkers. When the weight of slavery had been lifted, the question became how can people of color use their freedom to better understand who they are and how they fit in American society? This became a driving force behind the writings of the time period. Thinkers like Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois were fairly influential in being two of the leading writers who became occupied with life after slavery for the Black individual in America, a theme that would be picked up by subsequent writers who sought the merging of freedom and direction in a world after slavery.