With this collection of short stories, Dunbar sought to draw on the success of his
dialect poems by recreating and portraying the southern plantation during slavery.
The stories focus on the stereotypical portrait of slaves as obedient workers
happy to spend their lives in service of their benevolent owner. His attempt to find
success was only partially realized, as his stories drew not only criticism but, in
some cases, anger at their very stereotypical nature. The book itself, however,
proved to be more lucrative than previous fiction works had been for the author.
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Cover image: The Lord is My Shepherd by Eastman Johnson (1824 — 1906).
Cover designed by Availle. This design is in the public domain.