was not the descendant of Ham
, and to show that the serpent in the garden of Eden
was a black man!
It was just such a book as, if it had been produced by a Negro, would almost have justified despair for his race.
It is not remarkable perhaps that a single lunatic should have written such a book, but that a publisher should have been found for it, that commercial success should have been expected from it, that people should buy it and lay it on their Bibles and leave it on their tables to insult the black men who saw it, and astound the white-all this was incredible.
It so happened that I was reading a book written by a Negro at the same time, and I took it from my portmanteau and laid it beside the other volume.
My book was Booker Washington
's “Up from slavery,” a book which I had some difficulty in getting in a great Southern city, and which proved conclusively that its author was one of the best and ablest men in this country, black
; and it made me blush for my white race as I thought of these two authors together.
And shortly afterwards I read a third book, which occupies the middle ground between these two, but which unfortunately resembles the white man's folly more than the black man's wisdom.
It is “The leopard's Spots,”