Kirkus Star


Email this review


Perhaps the most exciting book on the subject yet to be published- and yet it is an informed, responsible piece of investigation and good journalism. Conrad- newspaperman, first white man to act as bureau manager and columnist for the Negro press as head of the Harlem office of the Chicago Defender -- had to fight suspicion and hostility to win the Negro's confidence. He knows their strengths and weaknesses, and frankly challenges corruption in sections of the Negro press, and quislings in the ranks who would sell out their own people. With extraordinary perception and passionate reason he presents the Negro point of view. He hammers home the fact that an economic issue has been labelled a racial one, and argues convincingly that social taboos have grown out of economic causes. Industry has fostered white supremacy so that the Negro must accept lower wages, thus delaying the progress of white workers. He tells the dramatic story of the great migration North. He discusses the resurgence of Negro literature. He accuses the white press of mishandling Negro news, building ""crime waves"", suppressing news of advance. He gives a grim picture of the black ghetto of Harlem and of segregation housing elsewhere. He discusses Negro organizations and their leaders. A superb chapter on the African heritage will be an eye-opener to many. He goes back in legal history to trace Jim Crowisms, backed by a pattern of socio-economic exclusion and fostered by political deals on both sides. He blasts some myths and generalizations, showing how the so-called innate rhythm has become the relentless rhythm of marching feet as a mockery of democracy sends them in the communist fold. Here is MUST reading for aware young Americans, for neo-liberals, for those who think the Negro problem will work itself out, for those who sincerely want a program to fight the Bilbos and the big financial interests that foster race prejudice. This book- properly launched- will start controversy. And that in turn will produce readers. Don't miss it.

Pub Date: March 21st, 1947
Publisher: Duell, Sloan & Pearce