Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life is the first published novel and best-known work by Harlem Renaissance author Wallace Thurman. The book depicts life in Harlem in the 1920s and addresses the subjects of discrimination by lighter-skinned African-Americans against darker African-Americans as well as religious conversion.

First Edition Identification

The Blacker the Berry was first published by The Macaulay Company, New York in 1929.

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On Oct 27, 2010, feeney said
Perhaps you are not yet familiar with the Harlem Renaissance of black writers and artists (1919 - 1935). If so, I suggest that you take a quick familiarizing glimpse by film or DVD into the super-heated 1920s milieu of that famous Manhattan black neighborhood. Then tackle the text of somewhat autobiographical novel THE BLACKER THE BERRY (1929) by Wallace Thurman. For the author of THE BLACKER THE BERRY (he died in his early 30s), along with other key Harlem writers, makes a cameo appearance in the recommended 2004 biopic feature film BROTHER TO BROTHER. ***** The novel's epigraph is "The blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice - Negro Folk Saying." The implication of that saying is that even an American negro whose skin is very, very black has offsetting stellar qualities. ***** But the heroine of THE BLACKER THE BERRY, young Emma Lou Morgan, never once finds that to be true. All around her, in Boise, Idaho, the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles, even in negro paradise Harlem, negroes divide themselves off by color: the whiter the better. And Emma Lou is not light-colored. Page after page, other Negroes make fun of her blackness. Thus she is kept out of a Negro sorority solely because she is black, ordinary and not rich. In a Harlem vaudeville theater she thinks every anti-black joke from the stage is aimed personally at her. ******Finally, after she has taken advice both from a rare kind-hearted negro advisor and from one famous white writer fascinated with all things Harlem, Emma Lou goes back to college, passes the New York public school teacher's exam and begins teaching in Harlem. ***** But by then she is so obsessed with her blackness that she bleaches her skin and takes garlic pills to such an extent that her looks become, for the first time, objectively off-putting. Emma Lou plans to apply to teach among all white teachers in a Brooklyn public school. ****** Meanwhile, Negro men prove very disappointing to her. If they are black, they are dumb. If they are fair-skinned, all they want to do is have sex and mooch money. Only in the last few pages of the novel does Emma Lou decide to break the spell of her longest-lasting no-account half mulatto, half filipino male lover, who is also bisexual. We last see Emma Lou Morgan packing her bags, moving out (of her own home) determined at last to be selfish, economically independent and free of men. ***** THE BLACKER THE BERRY was a flop when published in 1929. Today scholars acclaim it as the first novel seriously to showcase intra-Negro apartheid. 1920s American African Americans, it is argued, simply aped and internalized the anti-black prejudices of dominant white society. Many negroes acted on the motto, "Whiter and whiter every generation." It was their white slave-owning ancestors who gave to American mulattoes, "high yallers" and other African-Americans their social standing among multi-shaded people of color in Harlem as well as anywhere else. ***** A good, short novel. It probes racial and skin-color issues with lingering saliency even in 2010. -OOO-

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Blacker the Berry. . .

by Thurman, Wallace

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Used - Very Good
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9780684815800
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Touchstone. Used - Very Good. Very Good condition. A copy that may have a few cosmetic defects. May also contain light spine creasing or a few markings such as an owner’s name, short gifter’s inscription or light stamp. Bundled media such as CDs, DVDs, floppy disks or access codes may not be included.
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The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life
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The Blacker the Berry: A Novel of Negro Life

by THURMAN, Wallace

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Used - Very Good
Published
1929
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Hardcover
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New York: Macaulay, 1929. Hardcover. Very Good. First edition. Octavo. 262pp. Brown cloth with title stamped in black. Professionally recased and rebacked, preserving most of the original spine, the corners neatly refurbished, and the hinges seamlessly tightened, thus a presentable very good copy, lacking the dust jacket; housed in a lightly worn custom clamshell case. A very nice… Read more about this item
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The Blacker the Berry ..

by Thurman, Wallace

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9780143131878
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Penguin Publishing Group. Used - Good. Former library book; may include library markings. Used book that is in clean, average condition without any missing pages.
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The Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

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Used - Small inked name, front flap of dust jacket adhered to front pastedown, small discoloration and some soft creases to spine, publ
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First edition, first printing
Published
1929
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The Macaulay Company, 1929. First edition, first printing. Small inked name, front flap of dust jacket adhered to front pastedown, small discoloration and some soft creases to spine, publisher's name lower spine rubbed out, very good to near fine with hinges firm, in custom mylar cover.. Brown cloth titled in black, no dust jacket in mylar cover. … Read more about this item
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Blacker the Berry. . .

by Thurman, Wallace

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9780684815800
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Touchstone. Used - Good. Good condition. A copy that has been read but remains intact. May contain markings such as bookplates, stamps, limited notes and highlighting, or a few light stains.
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The Blacker the Berry (Dover Books on Literature & Drama)

by Thurman, Wallace

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Like New
Published
2008-05-19
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Paperback
ISBN
9780486461342
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Dover Publications, 2008-05-19. Paperback. Like New.
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Blacker the Berry...

Blacker the Berry...

by Wallace Thurman

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Used - Acceptable
Published
1996
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Paperback
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9780684815800
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Touchstone, 1996. Paperback. Acceptable. Disclaimer:A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed.
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THE BLACKER THE BERRY
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THE BLACKER THE BERRY

by Thurman, Wallace

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Used - Very good plus.
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First printing
Published
1929
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New York: The Macaulay Company, 1929. First printing. Very good plus.. First edition - with cover design by Aaron Douglas - of this foundational Harlem Renaissance work, the story of Emma Lou, a dark-skinned Black woman who struggles to come to terms with the colorism she experiences inside and outside her community. Wallace Thurman, the "young turk of… Read more about this item
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The Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

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4/22/2015 12:00:00 AM
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9781614278108
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Martino Fine Books, 4/22/2015 12:00:00 AM. Used - Like New. Used Like New, no missing pages, no damage to binding, may have a remainder mark.
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Blacker the Berry..

by Thurman, Wallace

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New
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1970-05-01
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Paperback
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9780020547501
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Scribner Paper Fiction, 1970-05-01. Paperback. New. New. In shrink wrap. Looks like an interesting title!
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The Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

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9780486461342
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Dover Publications, Incorporated. Used - Very Good. Used book that is in excellent condition. May show signs of wear or have minor defects.
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The Blacker the Berry . . . (Penguin Classics)

The Blacker the Berry . . . (Penguin Classics)

by Wallace Thurman

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Used - Good+
Published
2018
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Front top corner of front cover otherwise book in good condition
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9780143131878
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Library of America presents a classic novel of the Harlem Renaissance: Wallace Thurman's anguished, provocative look at prejudice and exclusion in Jazz Age Harlem. The Blacker the Berry (1929), Wallace Thurman's debut novel, broke new ground as an exploration of issues of "colorism," intra-racial prejudice, and internalized racism in African American life. Its protagonist, the young Emma Lou Morgan, is simply… Read more about this item
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The Blacker the Berry . . . (Penguin Classics)

The Blacker the Berry . . . (Penguin Classics)

by Thurman, Wallace

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9780143131878
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The Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

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4/22/2015 12:00:00 AM
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9781614278108
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The Blacker the Berry

The Blacker the Berry

by Wallace Thurman

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2008
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Paperback
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9780486461342
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Dover Publications, Incorporated, 2008. Paperback. Acceptable. Readable copy. Pages may have considerable notes/highlighting. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed.
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The Blacker The Berry (Black Classics)

The Blacker The Berry (Black Classics)

by Thurman, Wallace

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Paperback
ISBN
9781874509134
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The Blacker the Berry

The Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

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Used - Very Good
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Reissue
Published
1996
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Trade Paperback
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9780684815800
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New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 1996. Reissue. Trade Paperback. Very Good. 5x0x8. 2021 reissue of 1929 original. Light stain on top corner. 1996 Trade Paperback. 174 pp. "One of the most widely read and controversial works of the Harlem Renaissance, The Blacker the Berry...was the first novel to openly explore prejudice within the Black community. This pioneering novel found… Read more about this item
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The Blacker the Berry

by Thurman, Wallace

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9780486461342
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Dover Publications, Incorporated. Used - Very Good. Former library book; may include library markings. Used book that is in excellent condition. May show signs of wear or have minor defects.
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$7.40
The Blacker The Berry (Black Classics)

The Blacker The Berry (Black Classics)

by Thurman, Wallace

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Paperback
ISBN
9781874509134
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The Blacker the Berry

The Blacker the Berry

by Wallace Thurman

Condition
Used - Good
Published
2008
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780486461342
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Seattle, Washington, USA
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Dover Publications, Incorporated, 2008. Paperback. Good. Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed.
Item Price
$6.01