cover of book

Imperium in Imperio
by Sutton E. Griggs
edited by Tess Chakkalakal and Kenneth W. Warren
West Virginia University Press, 2022
Paper: 978-1-952271-58-8 | eISBN: 978-1-952271-59-5
Library of Congress Classification PS3513.R7154I56 2022
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.52


A new critical edition of Sutton Griggs’s turn-of-the-twentieth-century novel, which continues to shed light on understandings of Black politics.

Sutton E. Griggs’s first novel, originally published in 1899, paints a searing picture of the violent enforcement of disfranchisement and Jim Crow racial segregation. Based on events of the time, including US imperial policies, revolutionary movements, and racial protests, Imperium in Imperio introduces the fictional Belton Piedmont and Bernard Belgrave as “future leaders of their race” and uses these characters to make sense of the violence that marked the dawn of the twentieth century. Taking on contemporary battles over separatism and integration, Griggs’s novel continues to play a crucial role in understandings of Black politics.

Edited and introduced by Tess Chakkalakal and Kenneth W. Warren, this new critical edition offers not only an incisive biographical and historical introduction to the novel and its author but also a wealth of references that make the events and characters of Griggs’s Imperium in Imperio, and its aftermath, accessible to readers today.

Nearby on shelf for American literature / Individual authors / 1900-1960: