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The Blacker the Berry (1929)

af Wallace Thurman

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4611452,931 (3.79)16
"The groundbreaking Harlem Renaissance novel about prejudice within the black community Emma Lou Morgan's skin is black. So black that it's a source of shame to her not only among the largely white community of her hometown of Boise, Idaho, but also among her lighter-skinned family and friends. Seeking a community where she will be accepted, she leaves home at age eighteen, traveling first to Los Angeles and then to New York City, where in the Harlem of the 1920s she finds a vibrant scene of nightclubs and dance halls and parties and love affairs ... and, still, rejection by her own race. One of the most widely read and controversial works of the Harlem Renaissance, and the first novel to openly address prejudice among black Americans, The Blacker the Berry ... is a book of undiminished power about the invidious role of skin color in American society"--… (mere)
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» Se også 16 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 14 (næste | vis alle)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Excellent book reminding us of the past views which unfortunately still are relevant to today’s world.
  kallai7 | Jan 15, 2024 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A short, easy, thought-provoking read. Incredibly insightful getting to experience Emma Lou's world and her relationship with race and others. Would highly recommend this quick read to anyone who wants to consider the effects of race and gender in the last century and this one. ( )
  LeahMaciel | Jul 13, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Really liked the premise but not sure about the storytelling. Managed to jump all over the place.
Moved hurriedly through a lot of instances so it was hard to understand characters’ reactions or handlings of situations.

I’m still not sure why Emma Lou was so into Alva. I got nothing out of their relationship.

Very heavy-handed.
Not a lot of growth with Emma Lou. Sure, she got a decent job. But she seemed to complain a lot about people. People who supposedly talked about her and behind her back. But I never got any sense that she tried to befriend these people. She just liked to harp on the fact that she wasn’t the same shade of color as them. It got old real fast.
  JMSiperly | Mar 3, 2023 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For me the most interesting thing about this novel is its publication date. Nella Larsen's Passing was also published in 1929, and George Schuyler's Black No More came out in 1931. (Maybe that interests me primarily because I prefer the writing in those two novels. I've remembered characters from Passing longer than I'll remember any of these characters, and it's hardly surprising I'd enjoy a satire like Black No More more than a book that isn't meant to be fun for its readers or its main character.) They were concerned with Black characters who choose to "pass" as white, or who opt not to. As its title suggests, The Blacker the Berry is about darker skin.

The novel isn't subtle. Its protagonist, Emma Lou Morgan, is explicitly only skin-deep. The darkness of her skin is what defines her, inside and out. She's treated badly because she's so dark, but it's strongly implied that she's so self-conscious she doesn't understand that her treatment isn't always as bad as she imagines, and we're shown that she in turn values others according to the lightness or darkness of their skins. Though we're told that she was raised in a way that made it almost inevitable she'd internalize such an attitude, there's never any suggestion that anyone other than Emma Lou needs to or can do better. And that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Most of the characters in this novel need to do better. Almost a century later, Emma Lou's whole country still needs to do better.
  noveltea | Oct 31, 2022 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
quick synopsis: Emma Lou is a dark skinned black woman coming of age in Idaho with a light skinned family that views, and treats her, as a curse on them. She is sent to California for college and hopes to make her way in the world with people like her but she encounters racism from her light skinned peers, and she herself is discriminatory towards her black peers she see's as below herself. When she finds that there is no place for her in either CA of ID she moves across the country to Harlem where she believes she will finally fit in. Her struggle continues in Harlem, light skinned people are prejudiced to her and she is prejudiced to dark skinned people. She is caught in a loop until a few people and events help push her to the other side of things. The book had me bouncing between rooting for Emma Lou and cursing her actions but in the end I left feeling like she might just have found her way. The book is full of important lessons (not just on the history of racism in America): If you want to be accepted as you are then start with accepting all people as they are. If you don't love and respect yourself then you will attract people who don't love and respect you either. It may be difficult but find your path in life and don't follow the actions of others. Sometimes people's advice may be based on what they were taught or what they believe and it may not be suited for you. In the end colorism sucks. Thanks to Mint editions for reprinting this book and offering it on the monthly giveaway. I have been getting into the Harlem Renaisance and was excited to be given a chance to review this book. ( )
  maddogish | Sep 27, 2022 |
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Thurman, Wallaceprimær forfatteralle udgaverbekræftet
Haizlip, Shirlee TaylorIntroduktionmedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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The blacker the berry
The sweeter the juice...

--Negro folk saying

My color shrouds me in...

---Countee Cullen
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More acutely than ever before Emma Lou began to feel that her luscious black complexion was somewhat of a liability, and that her marked color variation from other people in her environment was a decided curse.
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"The groundbreaking Harlem Renaissance novel about prejudice within the black community Emma Lou Morgan's skin is black. So black that it's a source of shame to her not only among the largely white community of her hometown of Boise, Idaho, but also among her lighter-skinned family and friends. Seeking a community where she will be accepted, she leaves home at age eighteen, traveling first to Los Angeles and then to New York City, where in the Harlem of the 1920s she finds a vibrant scene of nightclubs and dance halls and parties and love affairs ... and, still, rejection by her own race. One of the most widely read and controversial works of the Harlem Renaissance, and the first novel to openly address prejudice among black Americans, The Blacker the Berry ... is a book of undiminished power about the invidious role of skin color in American society"--

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Wallace Thurman's book The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life was available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

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