William Stanley Braithwaite

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 154

["Birthright"] is the most significant novel on the Negro written by a white American, and this in spite of its totally false conception of the character of Peter Siner. Mr. Stribling's book broke new ground for a white author in giving us a Negro hero and heroine. He found in...

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["Birthright"] is the most significant novel on the Negro written by a white American, and this in spite of its totally false conception of the character of Peter Siner. Mr. Stribling's book broke new ground for a white author in giving us a Negro hero and heroine. He found in the Race a material for artistic treatment which was worthy of an artist's respect. His failure was in limiting, unconscious as it was on the part of the author, the capacity of the hero to assimilate culture, and in forcing his rapid reversion to the level of his origin after a perfect Harvard training. On the other hand, no author has presented so severe an indictment as Mr. Stribling in his painting of the Southern conditions which brought about the disintegration of his hero's dreams and ideals. (p. 206)

William Stanley Braithwaite, "The Negro in Literature," in The Crisis, Vol. XXVIII, No. 5, September, 1924, pp. 204-10.∗

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