“The tragedy of her life was that she was too black,” declares the narrator at the start of this powerful novel of intraracial prejudice. Emma Lou Morgan lives in a world of scorn and shame, not because her skin is black, but because it’s too black. No one among her family, teachers, and friends has a word of consolation or hope for the despised and rejected girl. With nothing to lose, eighteen-year-old Emma Lou leaves her home in Idaho, seeking love and acceptance on a journey that ultimately leads her to the legendary community of the Harlem Renaissance. A source of controversy upon its 1929 publication, The Blacker the Berry was the first novel to openly address colour prejudice among black Americans. Author Wallace Thurman, an active member of the Harlem Renaissance, vividly recaptures the era’s mood and spirit. His portrait of a young woman adrift in the city forms an enduringly relevant reflection of the search for racial, sexual, and cultural identity.
Reprint of the Macauley Company, New York, 1929 edition.
Dover Publications, 2008 (1929)