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Overshadowed A Novel   By: (1872-1933)

Overshadowed A Novel by Sutton E. Griggs

Overshadowed, a thought-provoking novel written by Sutton E. Griggs, takes readers on a compelling journey through the harrowing experiences of African-Americans during the post-Reconstruction era in the United States. Griggs expertly portrays the complex struggles faced by the black community, raising important social and political issues that are still relevant today.

Through his engaging storytelling, Griggs introduces readers to the character of Letitia Lamore, an intelligent and strong-willed young woman who becomes the focal point of the narrative. As an African-American woman aspiring for success, Letitia repeatedly encounters obstacles that threaten to hinder her progress and overshadow her dreams. Griggs skillfully weaves together various threads of oppression, prejudice, social expectations, and personal struggles to create a stark depiction of the challenges faced by black individuals during this period.

One of the most remarkable aspects of Overshadowed is Griggs' ability to create multidimensional and relatable characters. Letitia, in particular, is a protagonist who elicits empathy and admiration in equal measure. Her resilience, ambition, and determination serve as a symbol of hope amidst adversity, making her a character readers will root for throughout the story. Griggs highlights the inner conflicts that Letitia experiences as she treads the precarious line between societal expectations and pursuing her own desires—a theme that resonates profoundly with readers of all backgrounds.

Furthermore, Overshadowed delves into the complexities of race and religion within the African-American community. Griggs explores the tension between the pursuit of economic prosperity and the preservation of cultural heritage, as Letitia finds herself at odds with ideas ingrained in her community. Through the lens of Letitia's experience, Griggs prompts readers to question the boundaries placed on individuals by their own communities, shedding light on the internal struggles faced by black Americans striving for success in a society rife with prejudice.

With a captivating narrative that seamlessly blends political discourse with human emotions, Overshadowed stands as an important piece of African-American literature. Griggs does not shy away from addressing the systemic injustices of the era, drawing attention to the racial disparities and institutional obstacles that perpetuated the marginalization of African-Americans. As a result, this novel serves as a powerful critique of the social and political structures that sought to repress and control the black community after the Civil War.

In conclusion, Overshadowed is a thought-provoking novel that offers a poignant exploration of the struggles faced by African-Americans in post-Reconstruction America. Sutton E. Griggs masterfully captures the essence of the era through the experiences of Letitia Lamore, creating a captivating narrative that speaks to the universal human desire for liberation and justice. This book is a testament to the resilience of the black community and a reminder of the ongoing fight for equality.

First Page:

E text prepared by Suzanne Shell, Mary Meehan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team ( from page images generously made available by Internet Archive/American Libraries (

Note: Images of the original pages are available through Internet Archive/American Libraries. See


A Novel.



Author of "Imperium in Imperio."

Nashville, Tenn.: The Orion Publishing Co. 1901.

Copyrighted Sutton E. Griggs 1901.


To the Memory of ALBERTA, Who, in the absence of this her oldest brother, crossed over the dark stream, smiling as she went, this volume is most affectionately dedicated by



The task assigned to the Negroes of the United States is unique in the history of mankind.

He whose grandfather was a savage and whose father was a slave has been bidden to participate in a highly complex civilization on terms of equality with the most cultured, aggressive and virile type of all times, the Anglo Saxon.

The stupendous character of the task is apparent when it is called to mind that the civilization in which they are to work out their respective destinies is fitted to the nature of the Anglo Saxon, because he evolved it; while, on the other hand, the nature of the Negro must be fitted to the civilization , thus necessitating the casting aside of all that he had evolved... Continue reading book >>

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