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Imperium in Imperio

by Sutton E. Griggs A. J. Verdelle Cornel West

Imperium in Imperio (1899) is the story of two men--one black and one mulatto--who grow up in a racist America. The dark-skinned Belton, a conservative assimilationist, attends college, goes to Louisiana to advocate voting rights for blacks, and barely survives a lynch mob. The lighter-skinned Bernard is traumatized by the suicide of his beautiful black sweetheart, Viola, whose dying wish convinces Bernard to become a staunch nationalist and fight for a separation of the black and white races. Both men join a radical movement whose aim is to establish Texas as an all-black country, separate from the rest of the United States. The narrator, Berl Trout, tells the story of IMPERIUM IN IMPERIO ("a nation within a nation") on the eve of his own execution. Tomorrow, he will be put to death by his fellow nationalists for exposing their radical plot, and causing the uprising to fail.

Imperium in Imperio

by Cornel West Sutton Griggs A. J. Verdelle

Self-published in 1899 and sold door-to-door by the author, this classic African-American novel--a gripping exploration of oppression, miscegenation, exploitation, and black empowerment--was a major bestseller in its day. The dramatic story of a conciliatory black man and a mulatto nationalist who grow up in a racist America and are driven to join a radical movement dedicated to the creation of an all-black nation in Texas, Imperium in Imperio had a profound influence on the development of black nationalism. From the Trade Paperback edition.

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