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“Awakening a Dormant Appetite”: Captain McBane, Convict Labor, and Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition

“Awakening a Dormant Appetite”: Captain McBane, Convict Labor, and Charles Chesnutt’s The... “Awakening a Dormant Appetite”: CaptainMcBane,ConvictLabor, andCharlesChesnutt’s The Marrow of  Tradition by Gene I. Gorman Moments before a bloody battle erupts near the end of Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition (1901), the novel’s narrator notes a slight but critical change in the group of armed white men poised to attack a black- owned and - operated hospital. The Marrow of Tradition — Chesnutt’s c fi tional response to the 1898 Wilmington (NC) Race Riot — is considered the writer’s “political masterpiece” (Sundquist 406), focus- ing on miscegenation, racial caste, violence, and, at its crisis moment, election fraud and intimidation in a southern port city. Concerned about their waning power, three white supremacists orchestrate a campaign of “no Negro domination” to reassert their control in the fictional city of Wellington. Their efforts culminate in widespread flight from the city and bloodshed in its streets. In the scene above, a group of black men led by Josh Green have garrisoned themselves in Dr. William Miller’s hospital, one of the most important institutions in the black commu- nity. Green and his followers have already seen a dozen other black men and women “dead in the streets of Wellington . . . slain in cold http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

“Awakening a Dormant Appetite”: Captain McBane, Convict Labor, and Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 44 (2) – Jun 10, 2012

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 the Southern Literary Journal and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of English.
ISSN
1534-1461

Abstract

“Awakening a Dormant Appetite”: CaptainMcBane,ConvictLabor, andCharlesChesnutt’s The Marrow of  Tradition by Gene I. Gorman Moments before a bloody battle erupts near the end of Charles W. Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition (1901), the novel’s narrator notes a slight but critical change in the group of armed white men poised to attack a black- owned and - operated hospital. The Marrow of Tradition — Chesnutt’s c fi tional response to the 1898 Wilmington (NC) Race Riot — is considered the writer’s “political masterpiece” (Sundquist 406), focus- ing on miscegenation, racial caste, violence, and, at its crisis moment, election fraud and intimidation in a southern port city. Concerned about their waning power, three white supremacists orchestrate a campaign of “no Negro domination” to reassert their control in the fictional city of Wellington. Their efforts culminate in widespread flight from the city and bloodshed in its streets. In the scene above, a group of black men led by Josh Green have garrisoned themselves in Dr. William Miller’s hospital, one of the most important institutions in the black commu- nity. Green and his followers have already seen a dozen other black men and women “dead in the streets of Wellington . . . slain in cold

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jun 10, 2012

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