By a professor, writer, who has also received the recognition of a
Guggenheim Fellowship, this is a harsh, undeviating, uncompromising
portrayal of a mulatto, Shelton Howden, insecure, abrupt, hostile,
and always a "stranger and alone". At New Hope, a
missionary-founded college for mulattos, he gets his first
intellectual indoctrination in the racial inferiority of the Negro,
has his contempt strengthened by a year in New York and an exposure
to Harlem. Returning to teach at a Negro college in the South,
Howden becomes the particular protege of its President, Perkens
Wimbush, also a mulatto. Under the tutelage of Perkens, Howden
lines up with the politicians to degrade the Negroes, minimizes any
agencies or attempts to give them a chance, accepts the cynical
reality that they will always only be the "white man's niggers".
After an uneven affair with Gerry, Wimbush' daughter, Howden agrees
to marry Nan, who irritates him with her simplicity,
race-mindedness, idealism, and at the close he commits the final
betrayal when he informs on his people... Some strong, effective
writing here in a portrayal which if it cannot attract sympathy has
a believable authenticity. The audience however will be a limited
one. (Kirkus Reviews)
Northeastern University Press
|Country of origin:
||The Northeastern Library of Black Literature
General & literary fiction >
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