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Griggs, Sutton E

Entry updated 12 September 2022. Tagged: Author.

(1872-1933) US minister, social activist and author, whose father had been a slave in Georgia. He spent much of his long career writing, publishing through his own firm (Orion Publishing Company) and distributing texts mostly designed for Black readers, generally advancing a meliorist analysis of the world in which they had to survive. In his view, the pragmatic exercise of virtue would bring social justice to all races; he was an admirer of W E B Du Bois and a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP). Griggs is of sf interest for his first novel, Imperium in Imperio: A Study of the Negro Race Problem: A Novel (1899), in which a Black nation hidden within the state of Texas is riven by a conflict between the meliorist Belton Piedmont (who is executed) and the more radical Bernard Belgrave, head of a secret society known as the Imperium in Imperio, who wishes to ensure the triumph of the new Black Utopia through an armed takeover of Texas itself. The tale is undated, but a Near Future setting may be assumed. [JC]

Sutton Elbert Griggs

born Chatfield, Texas: 19 June 1872

died Denison, Texas: 2 January 1933

works (selected)

about the author


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