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The Comet

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The Comet (1920) is a science fiction story by W. E. B. Du Bois. Written while the author was using his role at The Crisis, the official magazine of the NAACP, to publish emerging black artists of the Harlem Renaissance, The Comet is a pioneering work of speculative fiction which imagines a catastrophic event not only decimating New York City, but bringing an abrupt end to white supremacy.

“How silent the street was! Not a soul was stirring, and yet it was high-noon—Wall Street? Broadway? He glanced almost wildly up and down, then across the street, and as he looked, a sickening horror froze in his limbs.”

Sent to the vault to retrieve some old records, bank messenger Jim Davis emerges to find a city descended into chaos. A comet has passed overhead, spewing toxic fumes into the atmosphere. All of lower Manhattan seems frozen in time. It takes him a few moments to see the bodies, piled into doorways and strewn about the eerily quiet streets. When he comes to his senses, he finds a wealthy woman asking for help. Soon, it becomes clear that they could very well be the last living people in the planet, that the fate of civilization depends on their ability to come together, not as black and white, but as two human beings. But how far will this acknowledgment take them?

With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of W. E. B. Du Bois’ The Comet is a classic work of African American literature reimagined for modern readers.

ISBN-13: 9781513296845

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Mint Editions

Publication Date: 06-08-2021

Pages: 20

Product Dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.05(d)

Series: Mint Editions-Black Narratives

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was an African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and socialist. Born in Massachusetts, he was raised in Great Barrington, an integrated community. He studied at the University of Berlin and at Harvard, where he became the first African American scholar to earn a doctorate. He worked as a professor at Atlanta University, a historically black institution, and was one of the leaders of the Niagara Movement, which advocated for equal rights and opposed Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta compromise. In 1909, he cofounded the NAACP and served for years as the editor of its official magazine The Crisis. In addition to his activism against lynching, Jim Crow laws, and other forms of discrimination and segregation, Du Bois authored such influential works as The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Black Reconstruction in America (1935). A lifelong opponent of racism and a committed pacifist, Du Bois advocated for socialism as a means of replacing racial capitalism in America and around the world. In the 1920s, he used his role at The Crisis to support the artists of the Harlem Renaissance and sought to emphasize the role of African Americans in shaping American society in his book The Gift of Black Folk (1924).