Black Novelist as White Racist: The Myth of Black Inferiority in the Novels of Oscar Micheaux

Synopsis

In exceptionally close analyses of six novels by black writer Oscar Micheaux, Young traces the development of Micheaux's racial theories and of his stance as apologist for American imperialism. Young argues that these novels are examples of the detrimental effect of oppressive myths on early 20th-century black behavior and values. The characters in the novels tend to mirror the black stereotypes of the post-bellum confederate romanticists, both the "Cavalier racists" and the "Negrophobes." Adopting the world view of the oppressor required that Micheaux reject both his own blackness and that of his racial kinsmen.