Blacker the Berry... (PB) (1996)

In The Blacker the Berry..., a classic yet provocative novel written during the Harlem Renaissance, a young woman must reckon with colorism in the Black community as she navigates 1920s New York City.

One of the most widely read and controversial works of the Harlem Renaissance, The Blacker the Berry...was the first novel to openly explore prejudice within the Black community. This pioneering novel found a way beyond the bondage of Blackness in American life to a new meaning in truth and beauty.

Emma Lou Brown's dark complexion is a source of sorrow and humiliation--not only to herself, but to her lighter-skinned family and friends and to the white community of Boise, Idaho, her hometown. As a young woman, Emma travels to New York's Harlem, hoping to find a safe haven in the Black Mecca of the 1920s. Wallace Thurman recreates this legendary time and place in rich detail, describing Emma's visits to nightclubs and dance halls and house-rent parties, her sex life and her catastrophic love affairs, her dreams and her disillusions--and the momentous decision she makes in order to survive.

A lost classic of Black American literature, The Blacker the a compelling portrait of the destructive depth of racial bias in this country. A new introduction by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip, author of The Sweeter the Juice, highlights the timelessness of the issues of race and skin color in America.

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Wallace Thurman
Introduction by:
Shirlee Taylor Haizlip
ISBN 10:
Touchstone Books
Publication Date:
February 2, 1996