Hopkins, Pauline Elizabeth

Tagged: Author

(1859-1940) US editor, journalist, playwright and author whose difficult career (she was black) ended after the publication of her fourth novel, Of One Blood; Or, the Hidden Self (November 1902-January 1903 The Colored American Magazine; 2004). The protagonist of the tale – a black medical student in Boston named Briggs, defiantly indifferent about his race at a time of ferocious prejudice in America – becomes enamoured of a mysterious woman who turns out to be the Reincarnation of a Princess of the Ethiopian Lost World of Meroe, where blacks had enjoyed paradisal lives. As part of his effort to cure her of insistent Amnesia – which Hopkins treats as a hysteria that masks from its victims, regardless of gender, the terrible cost of being of African descent in America (see Race in SF) – Briggs travels to Africa, where he discovers himself to be the king of Meroe, which he rules. Here he discovers evidence of the essential oneness of the varieties of Homo sapiens (see Biology; Evolution). [JC]

Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins

born Portland, Maine: 1859

died Cambridge, Massachusetts: 13 August 1940

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