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Over the prior decade, expanding cognizance has been paid to the lifestyles and paintings of Charles W. Chesnutt (1858-1932), thought of by means of many the foremost African-American fiction author earlier than the Harlem Renaissance through advantage of the 3 novels and collections of brief tales he released among 1899 and 1905.

Less well-known are the essays he wrote for American periodicals from 1899 via 1931, nearly all of that are analyses of and protests opposed to white racism. accrued to boot during this quantity are the addresses he made to either white and black audiences from 1881 via 1931, on subject matters starting from race prejudice to the existence and literary profession of Alexandre Dumas.

The seventy seven works integrated during this quantity include all of Chesnutt’s recognized works of nonfiction, 38 of that are reprinted the following for the 1st time. They display an ardent and sometimes outraged spokesman for the African American whose militancy elevated to the sort of measure that, via 1903, he had extra in universal with W. E. B. Du Bois than Booker T. Washington. He used to be, besides the fact that, a lifelong integrationist or even an suggest of “race amalgamation,” seeing interracial marriage because the final technique of fixing “the Negro Problem,” because it was once termed on the finish of the century. That he championed the African American through the Jim Crow period whereas opposing Black Nationalism and different “race satisfaction” pursuits attests to the best way Chesnutt outlined himself as a debatable determine, in his time and ours.

The essays and speeches during this quantity usually are not, even if, restricted to polemical writings. An educator, legal professional, and guy of letters with wide-ranging pursuits, Chesnutt stands as a humanist addressing topics of common curiosity, together with the novels of George Meredith, the accomplishments of Samuel Johnson, and the connection among literature and life.

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