"Uncle Tom is Dead!": Wright, Himes, and Ellison Lay a Mask to Rest

  title={"Uncle Tom is Dead!": Wright, Himes, and Ellison Lay a Mask to Rest},
  author={Joel Dinerstein},
  journal={African American Review},
  pages={83 - 98}
In his recent valorization of Uncle Tom's Cabin as "the ur-text in the fictional depiction of Americans across the color line" (xxvii), Henry Louis Gates, Jr. explained that the novel's demise in the college classroom was due to "the utter disdain of the Tom character by the black community" in the postwar era (xxvi). For Gates as for Linda Williams, the text that "mark[ed] the definitive end of the popular appeal" (Williams 62) was James Baldwin's essay, "Everybody's Protest Novel" (1949), his… 

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