Talking Book

True Representation


Dear, Lucia

Love, it was not fear that brought my friend to try to recreate your families likeness, it was dissatisfaction with the way others had. It wasn’t long before he wrote The Conjure Woman that he had a letter sent to me filled with his grievances. During that time Negros were gaining popularity in journals and magazines. Everyone thought they wanted to know the minds of a slave, what they had to say about slavery ending. Print was filled with satisfied and loyal workers and people ate it up. Can you believe that? Slaves praising their masters after being freed? Well, he didn’t.

He wrote to me saying ” their (Negros in print) chief virtues have been their dog-like fidelity to their old master, for whom they have been willing to sacrifice almost life itself. Such characters exist. . . . But I can’t write about those people, or rather I won’t write about them.” This thought sparked his need to have freedmen seen in a different perhaps a truer light. On behalf of my dear friend I hope you find he’s done you justice.

-Friend, George W. Cable

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