Nella Larsen's Passing

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Nella Larsen's Passing

  1. 1. NELLA LARSEN’S race, gender, c lass, history PASSING:
  2. 2. ELSIE JOHNSON MCDOUGALDThroughout the year s of histor y, woman has been the weather -vane, theindicator, showing in which direction the wind of destiny blows. Her statusand development have augured now calm and stability, now swif t currents ofprogress. What then is to be said of the Negro woman of to -day, whoseproblems are of such impor t to her race?Here, more than anywhere else, the Negro woman is free from the cruderhandicaps of primitive household hardships and the grosser forms of sex andrace subjugation. Here, she has considerable oppor tunity to measure herpower s in the intellectual and industrial fields of the great city. Thequestions naturally arise: “ What are her dif ficulties?” and, “How is shesolving them?”To answer these questions, one must have in mind not any one Negro woman,but rather a color ful pageant of individuals, each dif ferently endowed. Likethe red and yellow of the tiger -lily, the skin of one is brilliant against thestar-lit darkness of a racial sister. From grace to strength, they var y ininfinite degree, with traces of the race’s histor y lef t in physical and mentaloutline on each. With a discerning mind, one catches the multiform charm,beauty and character of Negro women, and grasps the fact that theirproblems cannot be thought of in mass . ~ from “The Double Task”
  3. 3. ELSIE JOHNSON MCDOUGALDThroughout the year s of histor y, woman has been the weather -vane, theindicator, showing in which direction the wind of destiny blows. Her statusand development have augured now calm and stability, now swif t currents ofprogress. What then is to be said of the Negro woman of to -day, whoseproblems are of such impor t to her race?Here, more than anywhere else, the Negro woman is free from the cruderhandicaps of primitive household hardships and the grosser forms of sex andrace subjugation. Here, she has considerable oppor tunity to measure herpower s in the intellectual and industrial fields of the great city. Thequestions naturally arise: “ What are her dif ficulties?” and, “How is shesolving them?”To answer these questions, one must have in mind not any one Negrowoman, but rather a color ful pageant of individuals, each dif ferentlyendowed. Like the red and yellow of the tiger -lily, the skin of one is brilliantagainst the star -lit darkness of a racial sister. From grace to strength, theyvar y in infinite degree, with traces of the race’s histor y lef t in physical andmental outline on each. With a discerning mind, one catches the multiformcharm, beauty and character of Negro women, and grasps the fact that theirproblems cannot be thought of in mass . ~ from “The Double Task”
  4. 4. PASSING
  5. 5. NELLA LARSEN
  6. 6. JIM CROW
  7. 7. JIM CROW
  8. 8. THE TRAGIC MULATTA
  9. 9. THE NEW NEGRO
  10. 10. ELSIE JOHNSON MCDOUGALDThroughout the year s of histor y, woman has been the weather -vane, theindicator, showing in which direction the wind of destiny blows. Her statusand development have augured now calm and stability, now swif t currents ofprogress. What then is to be said of the Negro woman of to -day, whoseproblems are of such impor t to her race?Here, more than anywhere else, the Negro woman is free from the cruderhandicaps of primitive household hardships and the grosser forms of sex andrace subjugation. Here, she has considerable oppor tunity to measure herpower s in the intellectual and industrial fields of the great city. Thequestions naturally arise: “ What are her dif ficulties?” and, “How is shesolving them?”To answer these questions, one must have in mind not any one Negro woman,but rather a color ful pageant of individuals, each dif ferently endowed. Likethe red and yellow of the tiger -lily, the skin of one is brilliant against thestar-lit darkness of a racial sister. From grace to strength, they var y ininfinite degree, with traces of the race’s histor y lef t in physical and mentaloutline on each. With a discerning mind, one catches the multiform charm,beauty and character of Negro women, and grasps the fact that theirproblems cannot be thought of in mass . ~ from “The Double Task”

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