SEED IN THE WIND by Leon Odell Griffith


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Set in a recalcitrant part of the South in the present day this is a murky tale concerned with the problem of integration. Superficially the story involves the events which occur when two northern manufacturers attempt to build a local factory along with homes on an integrated basis for its workers and when a Negro who had been educated in the North threatens to enroll his son in the local school. But these token events are merely vehicles for the establishment of viewpoints. There is the ineffectual Professor Hinson and his daughter Alvina who see only difficulty in changing the accepted way of life but who realize the change must come; Robert Hatcher, the heir to a feudal authority, whose resentments toward the Negro are strongly sexual in nature; Roy Lewis, and Uncle Tom, who supposedly has Hatcher blood, and his brother Nolan, determined to break the barriers for reasons which are not entirely legal. In the end Nolan is driven out of the county and Hatcher's insistences prevail over the northern investors but the conflict, for these people, has been brought out into the open and the white supremacy forces vaguely realize that they are fighting a losing battle. This is to put it in much more simple terms than the book itself which is written in a heavy-handed, inverted style. The characters speak in stilted, hollow voices, as if behind the masks which represent their various attitudes, and far from the effect being ennobling it is merely pretentious.

Pub Date: July 21st, 1960
Publisher: Random House