Major Carteret is the white owner of the biggest newspaper in
Wellington, a racially segregated city in the post-Civil War South. Carteret,
along with other powerful white men in Wellington, is outraged that an
editorial published the town’s black newspaper has questioned the justification
for lynchings. As racial tension mounts, Carteret struggles on the domestic
front. His wife and child are unwell and his niece, Clara, is courted by Tom
Delamer, a lush aristocrat. Meanwhile, William Miller, a young black doctor,
returns to his hometown of Wellington to set up a practice. Everything comes to
a head, however, when a white woman is murdered.
A landmark in the history of African-American fiction, this gripping
novel is a passionate portrait of the betrayal of black culture in America.
Written in 1901, it was among the first literary challenges to racial
stereotypes. Inspired by the 1898 Wilmington Riot and the eyewitness accounts
of Charles W. Chesnutt’s own family, The Marrow of Tradition captures the astonishing moment in
American history when a violent coup d’état resulted in the subversion of a
free and democratic election. Download and start listening now!