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Jim Crow, Literature, and the Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs

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Imperium in Imperio (1899) was the first black novel to countenance openly the possibility of organized black violence against Jim Crow segregation. Its author, a Baptist minister and newspaper editor from Texas, Sutton E. Griggs (1872–1933), would go on to publish four more novels; establish his own publishing company, one of the first secular publishing houses owned and operated by an African American in the United States; and help to found the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Tennessee. Alongside W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, Griggs was a key political and literary voice for black education and political rights and against Jim Crow.

Jim Crow, Literature, and the Legacy of Sutton E. Griggs examines the wide scope of Griggs’s influence on African American literature and politics at the turn of the twentieth century. Contributors engage Griggs’s five novels and his numerous works of nonfiction, as well as his publishing and religious careers. By taking up Griggs’s work, these essays open up a new historical perspective on African American literature and the terms that continue to shape American political thought and culture.

ISBN-13: 9780820345987

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: University of Georgia Press

Publication Date: 09-15-2013

Pages: 328

Product Dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Series: The New Southern Studies Series

Tess Chakkalakal (Editor) TESS CHAKKALAKAL is an associate professor of Africana studies and English at Bowdoin College. She is the author of Novel Bondage: Slavery, Marriage, and Freedom in Nineteenth-Century America. Kenneth W. Warren (Editor) KENNETH W. WARREN is the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of English at the University of Chicago. He is the author of What Was African American Literature?, So Black and Blue: Ralph Ellison and the Occasion of Criticism, and Black and White Strangers: Race and American Literary Realism.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction Tess Chakkalakal Kenneth W. Warren 1

Sutton Griggs and the Borderlands of Empire Caroline Levander 21

Empires at Home and Abroad in Sutton E. Griggs's Imperium in Imperio John Gruesser 49

Edward Everett Hale's and Sutton E. Griggs's Men without a Country Robert S. Levine 69

Moving Up a Dead-End Ladder: Black Class Mobility, Death, and Narrative Closure in Sutton Griggs's Overshadowed Andreá N. Williams 88

Social Darwinism, American Imperialism, and the Origins of the Science of Collective Efficiency in Sutton E. Griggs's Unfettered Finnie Coleman 111

Reading in Sutton E. Griggs Tess Chakkalakal 143

Sutton E. Griggs against Thomas Dixon's "Vile Misrepresentations": The Hindered Hand and The Leopard's Spots Hanna Wallinger 167

Harnessing the Niagara: Sutton E. Griggs's The Hindered Hand John Ernest 186

Jim Crow and the House of Fiction: Charles W. Chesnutt's and Sutton E. Griggs's Last Novels M. Giulia Fabi 214

Perfecting the Political Romance: The Last Novel of Sutton Griggs Kenneth W. Warren 254

Chronology: The Life and Times of Sutton E. Griggs 283

Selected Bibliography 289

Contributors 293

Index 297