Slave on the Block Criticism

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Hughes was surprised when his story "Slave on the Block" was accepted for publication in the distinguished and well-established magazine Scribner's. Other mainstream magazines hesitated to publish the stories he wrote in this period, particularly those referring to interracial sexual relationships. In 1934 Hughes collected the stories and published them a volume called The Ways of White Folks, his first book of short fiction. Its title is a reference to W. E. B. DuBois's influential 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk, famous for its claim that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line" — that is, the problem of the division between the black and white races. As a group, Hughes's stories address the new complications in interactions between the races in the early twentieth century, largely drawing from his own experiences with liberal whites, and in particular, with the white patron from...

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This section contains 643 words
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Short Stories for Students
Slave on the Block from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.