Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South
In 1900, a mere 35 years after the Civil War had ended the practice of one human being owning another, Pauline Hopkins, black and female, published Contending Forces, whose rediscovery here shocks us into recognition that our national literature does indeed contain examples of black awareness and pride.
Like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pauline Hopkins writes of the injustices s...more
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An intense novel about race relations, familial ties that transcend generations, and the ways in which capitalism and race interact to deaden our souls. This epic romantic saga spans several years and many characters. Amidst all of this, Pauline Hopkins shows how the contending forces that created slavery still exist and harm black people. I appreciated Hopkins's emphasis on the past repeating itself. With Trump's recent victory, we cannot pretend that racism, sexism, greed, etc. have d ...more
This book was hard for me to digest at first. However, after I got over the traumatic events of the first few chapters, I slowly gained an appreciation of the melodramatic style of Pauline Hopkins and 19th century literature. She uses fiction and metaphor as a bold social and political commentary. The book has to be taken in context of the time it was written in. Knowledge of the key important black political figures that were Hopkins contemporaries is important, as they are represented in Hopki ...more