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Ancient Melodies

Black Man’s Burden & Border, Breed Nor Birth

By Mack Reynolds  

15 Dec, 2019

Because My Tears Are Delicious To You


Mack Reynolds’ Black Man’s Burden & Border, Breed Nor Birth, published together in a 1972 Ace Double, are the first two installments in Reynolds’ Homer Crawford series. Black Man’s Burden was first serialized in the December 1961, January 1962 issues of Analog Science Fiction Science Fact. Border, Breed Nor Birth was first serialized in the July 1962, August 1962 issues of Analog Science Fiction Science Fact.

The world is rapidly converging on a shared standard of living. The sole exception is backward Africa, victim of colonial exploitation and runaway population growth. The Reunited Nations has bold plans to drag the dark continent into the twentieth century, to turn it from a savage land into one equal to, if not America or Common Europe, at least Australia. 

One major stumbling block: native Africans have ties to specific ethnic groups. Personal loyalties trump continental and racial loyalties. On the other hand, it’s no use sending white Americans, commie Russians, or Common Europeans to fix the place up. The one point on which all black African agree is profound distrust of white outsiders who arrive claiming to want to improve Africa.

As it happens, there are many people descended from Africans born outside Africa. American-born Homer Crawford, for example. 

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