“The Wife of His Youth” by Charles W. Chesnutt

The Wife of His YouthI read this before for a college class and always wanted to revisit it. So when the Bout of Books 14 read-a-thon came around, I saw it as the opportune time to give this story a go.

Quick summary:

“The Wife of His Youth” is a short story about a man whose wife found him after searching for 25 years after slavery was abolished. They were married while living in the south during slavery. She was a slave but her husband was a free man. The people she worked for planned to sell her husband so she helped him escape. She didn’t know where he went but since gaining her freedom after the Civil War, she has been searching for him.

The story’s main focus is on the divide within the Black community. The man is light-skinned and is a member of a prestigious organization in his community that’s prejudiced against dark-skinned Blacks. He was considering to marry a well-connected, young light-skinned woman within the organization when his wife, who is darker and older, shows up.

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