Sunday, November 22, 2009

Racially Charged 60's "Sleaze" Paperback

Beginning in the 50's, vintage paperback publishers began releasing racially themed books. I haven't read all of them, but based on the cover art, blurbs, and titles, most seem prejudiced. A common theme is the "shame" that occurs when a white woman becomes intimately involved with a black man. Whatever the angle, let's just say that sensationalism and fear were important aspects. This book comes from Greenleaf, a publisher of 1960's "sleaze" (adults only) paperbacks. I tried to ascertain the tone of the book by examining the cover art, blurbs, and title. Although the book is called "The Color of Shame," which could suggest something prejudicial, it's hard to say so without reading the book. After all, the black man and white woman are shown to be cooperating to fight off a real evil, something worth of shame, the KKK. I'd actually be surprised if the book is prejudicial, since many of Greenleaf's writers were more progressive than the average American of the time. Whatever the case, the cover is interesting, and the book is highly collectible, being a racial paperback and featuring KKK imagery.

Cover Art by Ed Smith

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