Date of Award

January 1941

Degree Type



This investigative study seeks to show the emergence of the Negro novelist out of the web of imprisoning conventional limitations and, simultaneously, to trace his progress in craftsmanship and aesthetic consciousness.

Considerable controversy has grown out of the emphasis placed on the social setting in literature. However, realizing the important social ramifications of the colored writer's persistent problems, one need give in this connection little consideration to this intellectual dispute. Therefore, in the conduct of this study, the procedure will be to discuss the cultural, social, political, economic, and even religious background of the periods. Three stages in this development are distinguishable. The first is the period of slavery and the Civil War, extending from 1840-1865. The second period lasts only a few years, 1896-1911. The third period begins in the early nineteen twenties and continues to the present time (1941).