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Of One Blood: Or, the Hidden Self: The Givens Collection

3.25  ·  Rating details ·  458 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Of One Blood is the last of four novels written by Pauline Hopkins. She is considered by some to be "the most prolific African-American woman writer and the most influential literary editor of the first decade of the twentieth century, though she is one of the lesser known literary figures of the much lauded Harlem Renaissance. Of One Blood first appeared in serial form in ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 3rd 2004 by Washington Square Press (first published 1902)
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3.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  458 ratings  ·  41 reviews


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Yair Ben-Zvi
Apr 07, 2016 rated it liked it
While not the greatest of novels Hopkins' "Of One Blood" does just enough (I won't say right, but I'll at least say well) that it warrants itself a read. The prose is gorgeous (though given the pulp-y kind of story Hopkins decides to tell it almost comes off as funny in some respects) and story itself, while definitely overwrought, is not without importance given the zeitgeist out of which Hopkins was writing. I won't go to far with this review simply because I don't have much else to say about ...more
Brian McCue
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
As the first novel by an African-American writer to feature both the setting of Africa and African characters, Pauline Hopkins’ Of One Blood is of immense historical value. Of One Blood is also considered to be among the earliest African-American speculative or science-fiction. It features a technologically and culturally superior Ethopia as its main character’s ancestral home, revealed in prophetic mysticism and gothic occurrences while commenting on issues of ancestry and race in early 19th Ce ...more
Dominique Dyitt
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Early works of a generous Sci fi author among many things. You will have to read it to understand the imagination and depth of the author. Keep the period in which it was written in mind.
Haley Shannon
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-ksf
Such an incredible book. The writing style is a little unusual, but the story is so incredible and serves as a beautifully poignant commentary on black lives in America after the abolitionist movement. Magic, ghosts, visions, hidden cities, and twists that you'll never see coming make this story both a fascinating adventure as well as an insight into a deeply important perspective.
Ronald Morton
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
The slogan of the hour is “Keep the Negro down!” but who is clear enough in vision to decide who hath black blood and who hath it not? Can any one tell? No, not one; for in His own mysterious way He has united the white race and the black race in this new continent. By the transgression of the law He proves His own infallibility: “Of one blood have I made all nations of men to dwell upon the whole face of the earth,” is as true today as when given to the inspired writers to be recorded. No man c
...more
Sarah
Nov 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Meh. Read this book for my American Literature class (1840-1920). It starts off interesting, but it sort of escalated into this over-the-top charade and I couldn't take it seriously. It's very dramatic. I appreciate the central message it's sending out (that we're all "of one blood," regardless of the color of one's skin), but I think the way Hopkins got there was a bit too much for my taste.

I also understand that the time in which this novel was written was a time in American history when mysti
...more
Bryan Miller
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wakanda as written in 1902. It takes elements of a ghost story, elements of Frankenstein, and elements of Wakanda (anachronistic as that comparison may be) and remixes it into both a love story and a quest novel. It’s quite an extraordinary tale, especially considering it was written so long ago. But at the end of the day, Pauline Hopkins was interrogating what an African utopia might look like long before Stan Lee started playing around with it. This novel is worth checking out SO DO IT
Ariel
Nov 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Read this for class: interesting ideas about race and history, but I felt the plot spiralled out of control and out of reason.
Alison Zoccola
May 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this novel for an English class on the novel in America to 1914, and this was the last novel we read in that class, and the most "modern" one. Hopkins has some great imagery and fascinating, though somewhat ambiguous characters, and I really enjoyed the overarching themes of discovering one's past and reclaiming the future. Hopkins manages to find hope even in the face of the failure of Reconstruction and the establishment of Jim Crow, hope which is still needed over a century after this ...more
Roger Whitson
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the first afrofuturist novels, Pauline Hopkins's OF ONE BLOOD is most powerful when it is describing the hidden city of Telassar. There are so many fascinating parallels with H. Rider Haggard's SHE, namely the notion of reincarnation, lost African kings, and ancient kingdoms. But Hopkins celebrates these ideas as evidence of a longstanding kinship between Africans and Europeans.
Wendy
Jun 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: required-reading
Master's Degree -- English 630: American Gothic - Judging a book by it's cover (I had a different edition than pictured here, used college bookstore copy), this looked like it would be an awful book. It was actually pretty good... only problem is that it read like two different books, the American story and the African story.
Kat
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
It seems as if Hopkins is definitely hiding something throughout the novel, and the stylistic choice illustrates this. The language is difficult to trudge through and often times its not easy to figure out exactly what is going on in the novel.
Tamara
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shakespeare who?!?!?!
Madhavi
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Incredibly relevant and important in its historical context but far too melodramatic as a story
Kristopher Van
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great classic of socially moving.
Niki Rowland
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting at first, then becomes a plot of stupidity
Eric Marcy
Oct 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Considering the amount of psychic stuff that goes down in this novel, the ending was rather ho-hum. We'll see if class discussion shifts my reading of this.
behemothing
Mar 12, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical-sf
An important take on the ubiquitous "lost race" theme of adventure fiction written from the perspective of a black feminist in the very early 20th century.
Angie
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Major Fields Prep: 16/133
By engaging a wide variety of literary genres and tropes - from the adventure novel, back-to-Africa tale, passing narrative, conjure tale, and tragic mulatto story - Hopkins confronts the changing epistemological terrain of the late-19th and early 20th centuries. "Of One Blood" alludes to both Biblical verse and to the polygenetic/monogenetic divide of the biological sciences, attesting to a single genetic lineage for all human races. Her tale (rather accurately) places
...more
Stafford Battle
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great book from an era in American history when human rights, political change, Progressivism and technological innovation took place. Steampunk meets magic can probably best describe On One Blood by Pauline Hopkins. The primary character is a young very fair-skin medical student (passing for white) who dabbles in the occult and modern miracles. The book is packed with social and scientific themes as well as lost civilizations and plot twists. Not a difficult read, but a book you may want to rea ...more
Matt Sautman
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
At first, I was not sure quite how I felt about the book. It is melodramatic and seemed to lack greater significance... that is at first, but the further along the reader gets, the more involved the story becomes, and those moments that transform those moments that the reader may had thought to be trite in the beginning and meaningless and reveals that beneath the shroud of a first time read of Hopkins's prose is a gothic piece of weird fiction about race and reclaiming identity. Ultimately, its ...more
Caitlin
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school-reading
Not a long read (4ish hours), but kind of tedious. I enjoyed the first third, the middle third was way too full of ornate descriptions that I thought didn't really add to the plot or meaning of the story, and the last third felt like it was dragging out the inevitable ending.

Read for school. Wouldn't recommend, and wouldn't read again, but I can see its usefulness at the beginning of our reading plan in our African and African American literature class, as it portrays a historical U.S. African
...more
Eric
May 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
A fascinating novel from 1903 that appears to stage the transnational black political imaginary which defined much of the political energy around African American cultural production in the 1920s and 1930s. I very much look forward to thinking about this book's strange turns against their apparent correlates in Du Bois' strange "Dark Princess: a romance." If many of its turns are predictable for a reader familiar with Hopkins' (and Charles Chesnutt's) work, the development of a political message ...more
Wolverina
May 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this novel.

Hopkins narration in the story, moving from paranormal to portal fiction, to adventure to activist throughout the story is actually really beautiful. That said it does get a little confusing at times, I suspect though in part because I'm reading it as a novel rather than a collected serial.
Angelica
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: school, read-2016
I read this for my American Literature class. Honestly, as my rating will tell, I didn't like it. The plot became crazy and the characters were all irritating. I am not looking forward for the rest of the books I am going to have to read for this class. They all seem so boring, and this was just the first of nine. Nine boring books for a boring class that I need in order to graduate. How fun.
Kiesha
Jan 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
There is a great lesson within this book. And Pauline showed incredible courage when she sought to write then publish what must have been revolutionary ideas at its time. To a large extent, it remains as provocative today.
Emily
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: undergrad
Dramatic and ridiculous, a bit slow in parts, but the overall enjoyable story made up for what lacked in the writing. Read this after Pope's Nubia in American Thought class. Was way more interesting because I took his class and saw the connections.
Teal
Feb 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
A complex book that I would love to write about rather than read. The first half held me but the last fell victim to standard occult melodrama. I was interested in the themes of identity, motherhood, and hierarchy in this text.
Chanel Earl
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
I liked it, but I just have trouble with utopian societies that don't end up in ruin before the end of the book. That's a personal thing.

It was a quick read and I really got into it. I think I read it in a few days, and that was during the semester when I didn't have a lot of time.

Ernest Hogan
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A lost classic of Afrofuturism.
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Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins (1859 – August 13, 1930) was a prominent African-American novelist, journalist, playwright, historian, and editor. She is considered a pioneer in her use of the romantic novel to explore social and racial themes. Her work reflects the influence of W. E. B. Du Bois.

(from Wikpedia)