STRANGER AND ALONE by J. Saunders Redding


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By a professor, writer, who has also received the recognition of a Guggenheim Fellowship, this is a harsh, undeviating, uncompromising portrayal of a mulatto, Shelton Howden, insecure, abrupt, hostile, and always a ""stranger and alone"". At New Hope, a missionary-founded college for mulattos, he gets his first intellectual indoctrination in the racial inferiority of the Negro, has his contempt strengthened by a year in New York and an exposure to Harlem. Returning to teach at a Negro college in the South, Howden becomes the particular protege of its President, Perkens Wimbush, also a mulatto. Under the tutelage of Perkens, Howden lines up with the politicians to degrade the Negroes, minimizes any agencies or attempts to give them a chance, accepts the cynical reality that they will always only be the ""white man's niggers"". After an uneven affair with Gerry, Wimbush' daughter, Howden agrees to marry Nan, who irritates him with her simplicity, race-mindedness, idealism, and at the close he commits the final betrayal when he informs on his people... Some strong, effective writing here in a portrayal which if it cannot attract sympathy has a believable authenticity. The audience however will be a limited one.

Pub Date: Feb. 17th, 1950
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace