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The Politics of Color in the Fiction of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen

Jacquelyn Y. Mclendon
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McLendon shows how the nineteenth-century stereotype of the tragic mulatto as invented by white writers became both a political tool and an artistic device in the capable hands of Jessie Fauset and Nella Larsen. Using black female protagonists who often passed as whites, Fauset and Larsen showed that blacks were despised not for their lack of education of money or manners, but simply because they were black. Focusing on the psychology of black women, they brought up issues of identity and difference for both blacks and women and insisted on the authenticity of the black experience of mulattoes and black middle-class society.