Here’s to 21 days devoted to our namesake, in the spirit of Black History Month.
Charles W. Chesnutt succesfully encapsulated the heavy toll of being black, white, and other all at once in the American South. Chesnutt’s work deals almost exclusively with racial ambiguity, racial passing, and race relations in general. But you need to do your own reading to uncover the very personal depths of his rich and thoughtful prose!
Day 1: We are featuring Chesnutt’s first published short story, “The Goophered Grapevine” published in The Atlantic Monthly in 1887. This text may prove somewhat difficult to read; Chesnutt jumped from dialect to dialect in an attempt to capture the essence of southern Black conversation and dialogue. Much in the way Hurston does in “Their Eyes Were Watching God.”
“The Goophered Grapevine” is freely accessible online and you are encouraged to download and read. You can also find the short story in various Chesnutt collections, which we have available for checkout!