Contending Forces: A Romance Illustrative of Negro Life North and South / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent from
(Save 67%)
Est. Return Date: 08/01/2015
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 92%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (31) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $21.59   
  • Used (24) from $1.99   


In 1900, a mere 35 years after the Civil War had ended the practice of one human being owning another, Pauline Hopkins, black and female, published Contending Forces, whose rediscovery here shocks us into recognition that our national literature does indeed con­tain examples of black awareness and pride.


Like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Pauline Hopkins writes of the injustices suffered by blacks at the hands of whites. But her novel penetrates deeper than Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Nor is the white man the sole devil in Hopkins’s fiction; there are the contending forces: “Conservatism, lack of brotherly affiliation, lack of energy for the right and the power of the almighty dollar which deadens men’s hearts to the sufferings of their brothers, and makes them feel that if only they can rise to the top of the ladder may God help the hindermost man, are . . . the contending forces that are dooming this race to despair.”


Very little is known about this re­markable author. She was born in 1859 in Portland, Maine, and died in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1930. In the 1900–1904 period, she was a member of the staff of Colored American Magazine, the most important black magazine of the time. Her novel was published in Boston by The Colored Co-operative Publishing Co.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A gift to the profession (and to our students) to have the Schomburg Library of Nineteenth Century Black Women's Writers in affordable paperback."—Janet Gabler-Hover, Georgia State Univ.

"Brilliant...her masterwork."—Eric J. Sundquist in The New York Times Book Review

"Terrific romance!"—Leonard Cassuto, Fordham University, Lincoln Center

"Fits into my course wonderfully."—Noelle Arrangoiz, University of Denver

Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

Gwendolyn Brooks, Pulitzer Prize­winning Poet Laureate of Illinois, was recently elected to the National Insti­tute of Arts and Letters. She lives in Chicago.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)