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for the belief that his race has founded great civilizations, has ruled over areas as large as all Europe, and was prolific in statesmen, scientists, poets, conquerors, religious and political leaders, arts and crafts, industry and commerce when the white race was wallowing in barbarism or sunk in savagery. Here he can learn on good authority, from St. Jerome and Cicero, Herodotus and Homer down to the modern students of race history, that cannibalism has been a practise among white populations like the Scythians, Scots and Britons; that the white races have been slaves; that here in America the slavery of white men was a fact as late as the 19th century, and "according to Professor Cigrand, Grover Cleveland's grandfather, Richard Falley, was an Irish slave in Connecticut." In short, he will learn here, not that newspaper science which keeps even "educated" Americans so complacently ignorant, but the science of the scientists themselves. He will learn all that this kind of science has to tell of the relative capacity and standing of the black and white racesand much of it will surprise him. But all of it will please and instruct.

The book also deals with the facts of the present position of the Negro in America and the West Indies; with questions of religion, education, politics and political parties, war work, lynching, miscegenation on both sides, the beauty of Negro women and race prejudice. And on everyone of these topics it gives a minimum of opinion and a maximum of information. This information flows forth during the course of a series of dis cussions between an educated Negro Pullman porter and a Southern white statesman on a train running between Chicago and San Francisco. The superior urbanity of the Negro, coupled with his wider information and higher intelligence, eventually wins over the Caucasian to admit that the whole mental attitude of himself and his race in regard to the Negro was wrong and based on nothing better than prejudice.

This conversational device gives the author an opportunity to present all the conflicting views on both sides of the Color Line, and the result is a wealth of information which makes this book a necessity on the bookshelf of everyone, Negro or Caucasian, who has some use for knowledge on the subject of the Negro. The book is published by the author at 4700 State Street, Chicago.


By W. E. B. Du Bois.

An unwritten law has existed for a long time to the effect that the critical estimates which fix the status of a book by a Negro author shall be written by white men. Praise or blamethe elementary criticism which expresses only the reviewer's feelings in reference to the book-has generally been the sole function of the Negro critic. And the results have not been good. For, in the first place, white critics (except in music) have been too prone to judge the product of a Negro author as Dr. Johnson judged the dancing dog: "It isn't at all like dancing; but then, one shouldn't expect more from a dog." That is why many Negro poets of fifth grade merit are able to marshal ecomiums by the bushel from friendly white critics who ought to know better. On the other hand, there is the danger of disparagement arising solely from racial prejudice and the Caucasian refusal to take Negro literary products seriously.

In either case the work fails to secure consideration solely on its merits. Wherefore, it is high time that competent appraisal of Negro books should come from "our side of the street." But, then, the Negro reading public should be taught what to expect, viz., that criticism is neither "knocking" nor "boosting"; but an attempt, in the first place, to furnish a correct and adequate idea of the scope and literary method of the book under review, of the author's success in realizing his objects, and of the spirit in which he does his work. In the second place, the critic should be expected to bring his own understanding of the subject matter of the book to bear upon the problem of enlightening the readers' understanding, that at the end the reader may decide whether the work is worth his particular while.

This book of Dr. Du Bois' is one which challenges the swing of seasoned judgment and appraisal. It challenges also free thinking and plain speaking. For, at the very outset, we find ourselves forced to demur to the publishers' assumptions as to its author's status.

"Even more than Bois is now chief

the late Booker Washington, Mr. Du spokesman of the two hundred million men and women of

African blood." So say the publishers-or the author. But this is outrageously untrue. Once upon a time Dr. Du Bois held a sort of spiritual primacy among The Talented Tenth, not at all comparable to that of Booker Washington in scope, but vital and compelling for all that. The power of that leadership, however, instead of increasing since Mr. Washington's death, has decreased, and is now openly flouted by the most active and outspoken members of The Talented Tenth in Negro America. And, outside of the twelve or fifteen millions "of African blood" in the United States, the mass of that race in South and West Africa, Egypt and the Philippines know, unfortunately, very little of Dr. Du Bois. It may be, however, that this is merely a publishers' rhodomontade.

And it is the publishers themselves who challenge for this volume a comparison with "The Souls of Black Folk," which was published by McClurg in 1903. It is regrettable that they should force the issue, for "The Souls of Black Folk" is a greater book than "Darkwater" in many ways. In the first place, its high standard of craftsmanship is maintained through every chapter and page. There are no fag-ends, as in the chapter "Of Beauty and Death" in the present volume, where the rhetoric bogs down, the author loses the thread of his purpose and goes spieling off into space, spinning a series of incongruous purple patches whose tawdry glitter shows the same reversion to crude barbarism in taste which leads a Florida fieldhand to don opal-colored trousers, a pink tie, pari-colored shirt and yellow shoes. Artistically, that chapter is an awful thing, and I trust that the author is artist enough to be ashamed of it.

And, though it may savor of anti-climax, "The Souls of Black Folk" was more artistically "gotten" up-to use the grammar of its author. "Darkwater" is cheaply bound and cheaply printed on paper which is almost down to the level of the Seaside Library. Neither in mechanical nor mental quality does the book of 1920 come up to the level of that of 1903.

Yet, in spite of some defects, "Darkwater" (with the exception of chapters six, seven, eight and nine) is a book well worth reading. It is a collection of papers written at different times, between 1908 and 1920, and strung loosely on the string of race. One wishes that the author could have included his earlier essay on The Talented Tenth and his address on the aims and ideals

of modern education, delivered some twelve years ago to the colored school children of Washington, D. C.

Each paper makes a separate chapter, and each chapter is followed by a rhetorical sprig of symbolism in prose or verse in which the tone-color of the preceeding piece is made manifest to the reader. Of these tone-poems in prose and verse, the best are the Credo; A Litany at Atlanta; The Riddle of the Sphinx, and Jesus Christ in Texas. In these the lyrical quality of the author's prose is lifted to high levels. In these elegance does not slop over into turgid declamation and rhetorical claptrapwhich has become a common fault of the author's recent prose as shown in The Crisis. In this, the first part of the book, the work is genuine and its rhetoric rings true. Nevertheless, the sustained artistic swing of "The Souls of Black Folk," which placed that work (as a matter of form and style) on the level of Edgar Saltus' Imperial Purple-this is not attained in "Darkwater."

The book may be said to deal largely with the broad international aspects of the problem of the color line and its reactions on statecraft, welt-politik, international peace and international trade, industry, education and the brotherhood of man. Each chapter, or paper, is devoted to one of these reactions. Then there is a charming autobiographical paper, “The Shadow of Years," which first appeared in The Crisis about three years ago, in which we have the study of a soul by itself. The growth of the author's mind under the bewildering shadow cast by the color line is tragically set forth. I say tragically with deliberation; for what we see here, despite its fine disguise, is the smoldering resentment of a mulatto who finds the beckoning white doors of the world barred on his approach. One senses the thought that, if they had remained open, the gifted spirit would have entered and made his home within them. Mais, chacun a son gout, and no one has the right to quarrel with the author on that doubtful score.

In the chapter on "The Souls of White Folk" we have a fine piece, not so much of analysis, as of exposition. The author puts his best into it. And yet that best seems to have failed to bite with acid brutality into the essential iron of the white man's soul. For the basic elements of that soul are Hypocrisy, Greed and Cruelty. True, the author brings this out; but he

doesn't burn it in. The indictment is presented in terms of an appeal to shocked sensibilities and a moral sense which exists, for the white man, only in print; whereas it might have been made in other terms which come nearer to his self-love. Nevertheless it is unanswerable in its logic.

In "The Hands of Ethiopia," as in "The Souls of White Folk," we catch the stern note of that threat which (disguise it as our journals will), the colored races are making, of an ultimate appeal in terms of color and race to the white man's only Godthe God of Armed Force. But the author never reaches the height of that newer thought-an international alliance of Black, Brown and Yellow against the arrogance of White.

In "Work and Wealth" and "The Servant in the House" the problems of work and its reward, and the tragedy of that reward, are grippingly set forth in relation to the Negro in America and in the civilized world. "The Ruling of Men" is followed by three papers of very inferior merit and the book ends with a fantastic short story, "The Comet" which, like "The Coming of John" in "The Souls of Black Folk," suggests that Dr. Du Bois could be a compelling writer of this shorter form of fiction. The touch in this story of incident is light, but arresting.

Dr. Du Bois, in the looseness of phrase current in our time in America, is called a scholar-on what grounds we are not informed. But Dr. Du Bois is not a scholar; his claim to consideration rests upon a different basis, but one no less high. And when the Negro culture of the next century shall assay the products of our own it will seem remarkable that this supreme wizard of words, this splendid literary artist, should have left his own demesne to claim the crown of scholarship. Surely, there is honest credit enough in being what he is, our foremost man of culture. And this "Darkwater," despite its lapses from artistic grace, helps to rivet his claim to that consideration. It is a book which will well repay reading.

The Rising Tide of Color Against White World Supremacy. By Lothrop Stoddard.

About ten years ago Mr. B. L. Putnam Weale in "The Conflict of Color" tried to open the eyes of the white men of the world to the fact that they were acting as their own grave diggers.

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