Caviar and Cabbage
Melvin B. Tolson is best known as the poet who wrote The Harlem Gallery and Libretto for the Republic of Liberia. He received national acclaim only toward the end of his life, but early in his career he achieved considerable recognition as a challenging speaker and activist within the black American community.
Tolson wrote a weekly column for the Washington Tribune from 9 October 1937 to 24 June 1944, entitled "Caviar and Cabbage." As the title suggests, the subjects he treated were various. He perceived the problems of the black world of the late thirties and early forties with the insight of an intellectual and the verbal richness and rhythms of a poet heavily influenced by a strong pulpit tradition. This combination makes the columns valuable both as literature and as cultural history.
Robert Farnsworth has selected and edited these columns. His introduction describes their cultural and biographical context. He has arranged the columns according to subject: "Christ and Radicalism," "Race and Class," "World War II," "Random Shots," "Writers and Readings," and "Reminiscences." The background material and the arrangement of the works underline their significance.
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Christ and Radicalism
The Death of an Infidel April 2 1938
Paul Robeson Rebels against Hollywoods Dollars March
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