T(homas) S(igismund) Stribling Frank Durham - Essay

Frank Durham

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It is somewhat surprising that the earliest Southern writing in the decade should lean more toward propaganda. Birthright caused quite a flurry at its appearance in 1922, not only for its subject but for the fact that it was written by a Tennesseean. In several ways it set a pattern for the novel of the "noble Negro," usually with mixed blood, who tries to better himself and his race. (p. 33)

Certainly from [a] synopsis Birthright seems unrevolutionary. But Stribling was decried by many Southerners as "a dirty bird defiling its own nest," even as he was hailed by the indubitably Southern James Southall Wilson as the leader "in turning to the starker actualities of Negro [life]." Like...

(The entire section is 789 words.)