John (Marsden) Ehle (Jr.)

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Abraham Barnett

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[Move Over, Mountain] is the story of Jordan Cummings, a North Carolina Negro who is able to triumph in business and preserve his family life when he gives up his desires to go North to seemingly easier success. The author's intrusive theme that a satisfactory economic and spiritual life for southern Negroes today merely awaits an inner resolution on their part is faultily based on the extremely simplified situation of the hero whose problems seem to have no important connection with racism but rather with his delusions about the North. The effects of Southern racism on Negro enterprise and migration are seriously underestimated. Although he resorts to the device of a dice game to bring the hero out of the nadir of his career, this white Southern author evidently respects his Negro characters. Despite the unrelieved colloquial style and sketchy characterization which add to the thematic flaw, the story of Jordan Cummings' travail and success holds our interest.

Abraham Barnett, in a review of "Move Over, Mountain," in Library Journal (reprinted from Library Journal, June 1, 1957; published by R. R. Bowker Co. (a Xerox company); copyright © 1957 by Xerox Corporation), Vol. 82, No. 11, June 1, 1957, p. 1536.

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