Daughter of the Revolution: The Major Nonfiction Works of Pauline E. Hopkins

By Pauline E. Hopkins; Ira Dworkin | Go to book overview

PART IV
Furnace Blasts, by J. Shirley Shadrach (1903)

Furnace Blasts consists of two installments that Hopkins published under the pseu-
donym J. Shirley Shadrach in the Colored American Magazine in February and March
1903. The title comes from John GreenleafWhittier's poem “Furnace Blast,” which
appears in her profile of Whittier (included in the “Selected Biographies” section of this
volume) and as the epigraph to the first chapter of Contending Forces.1 The unambigu-
ously issue-oriented nonfiction model that Hopkins uses in the two articles in Furnace
Blasts differs from her biographical approach in Famous Men and Famous Women. Writ-
ing at a moment of significant change for the Colored American Magazine, she adopts a
more strident approach and is rewarded with an increasingly prominent role by William
Dupree's new management team. The focal points of the two wide-ranging installments
are prostitution and interracial relationships. Hopkins may have elected a pseudonym
so as not to be directly identified with the sexual subjects she addresses in the short-
lived series.

1. Pauline E. Hopkins, Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South(1900; repr.,
New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 17. The first chapter of Contending Forces, “A Retrospect of the
Past,” appeared in the Colored American Magazine in November 1900, the month that Famous Men of the
Negro Racepremiered.

-199-

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