1947 1st year edition; Random House publishers, New York; Book Club Edition; hardbound in black boards with gilt stamp lettering on cover and spine; very good condition with unmarked pages; dust jacket quite good with minimal edge wear.
The protagonist, Neil Kingsblood, a white middle-class man, discovers while researching his family background that he is directly descended from an African adventurer on the American frontier. (His ancestor is loosely modeled after Pierre Bonga, an African American who worked as a fur trapper for the North West Company.)
Through various machinations, Kingsblood loses his banking job and takes a lesser one. He begins to be treated differently by former acquaintances, despite the lack of visible black African ancestry. He is forced to choose between continuing what he has come to see as a hollow existence in the white community and taking on the oppressed minority status of the black community.
After Kingsblood tells several white friends about his newfound ancestry, the news quickly spreads, and he finds that acquaintances change their behavior toward him. He engages in a quixotic struggle against the racism newly apparent but widespread in his community.
Because Kingsblood is now black, it is illegal for him and his family to live in their home...