Books by Wallace Thurman
Emma Lou Morgan's skin is black--"too black," as the narrator writes in the beginning of The Blacker of the Berry. Tired of the scorn and contempt of her classmates, teachers, friends, and even family, she leaves her hometown of Boise, Idaho, traveling first to Los Angeles and then to Harlem, New York in search of a community to which she can belong. In Harlem, Emma Lou finds an exciting, vibrant scene of nightclubs and dance halls and parties and love affairs... but there's no escaping the shame she feels about the darkness of her skin.
Written by an overlooked author of the Harlem Renaissance, who was described by Langston Hughes as "a strangely brilliant black boy, who had read everything, and whose critical mind could find something wrong with everything he read," The Blacker the Berry is a vivid and disturbing portrait of a young woman who has been rejected by her own race, and a still-relevant reflection on the role that skin color plays in American society.
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