The Dial

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Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 154

The theme [of Birthright] is the anomalous position of the educated mulatto who desires to make the black race alive to its problems and its potentialities, in a Southern nigger-town. The treatment is simple, straightforward, "photographic" writing, but photography—especially the work of the moving-picture camera—is not to be dismissed lightly when it handles scenes we prefer to forget. Mr. Stribling, who, as a Southerner, knows his Hooker's Bend as Mr. Lewis knows his Gopher Prairie, has been as ruthless, and almost as patient, as the recorder of the life of Main Street. If his novel is not quite as competently done, the lack is due, it would seem, to a more pressing interest in analysis…. On the other hand, there are some excellent genre pictures in Birthright, and, save for the author's tendency to think aloud, a feeling for continuity, for actuality….

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"Briefer Mention: 'Birthright'," in The Dial, Vol. 72, No. 6, June, 1922, p. 648.

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William Stanley Braithwaite