The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line
By: Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932)
Published in 1899, The Wife of His Youth and Other Stories of the Color Line is a collection of narratives that addresses the impact of Jim Crow laws on African Americans and white Americans of the South. Many of Chesnutt's characters are of mixed-race ancestry which sets them apart for a specific yet degrading kind of treatment from blacks and whites. These stories examine particularly how life in the South was informed through a legacy of slavery and Reconstruction—how members of the “old dominion” desperately struggled to breath life into the corpse of an antebellum caste system that no longer defined the path and direction in which this country was headed. (Introduction by James K. White).