T(homas) S(igismund) Stribling Ernest Sutherland Bates - Essay

Ernest Sutherland Bates

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Birthright, no doubt, was overly ambitious. It attempted to present the tragedy of the educated Negro in the South, a subject to which perhaps only an educated Negro himself could do full justice. None of them, however, has done so, and Mr. Stribling's work remains to date in possession of the field. It tells, in somewhat too episodic a style, the story of Peter Siner, a mulatto Harvard graduate, who returns to Hooker's Bend, Tennessee, determined to devote himself to uplifting his subjugated race, but who, instead, finds that he is pushed down by the intolerant whites and pulled down by the ignorant blacks until, disillusioned and utterly discouraged, he resigns himself to being just a "nigger's nigger."...

(The entire section is 1321 words.)