FeatherPenClipArt
Sutton E. Griggs (1872 – 1933) was born in Chatfield, TX, to parents Reverend Allen R. and Emma Hodge Griggs. His father was a former slave who became a prominent Baptist minister. Griggs graduated from Bishop College in Marshall, TX, and Richmond Theological Seminary and became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Berkley, VA. In 1897 he married Emma Williams, and in 1899 moved to the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Nashville, TN, where he also became corresponding secretary of the National Baptist Convention. After the Wall Street crash in 1929, Griggs and his wife returned to Texas, where he served as pastor to two small local churches. He died shortly afterwards.

Although his style was rough, Griggs was prolific as an author, completing more than thirty books which he sold at revival meetings. His first novel Imperium in Imperio was published in 1899. This is a utopian work that features a separate African-American state within the United States. Two childhood friends are separated by wealth, education, skin tone, and political outlook. One is a militant and the other an integrationist. A traumatic incident galvanizes them to work together to redress the injustice. The twist in this plotline is an African American “empire within an empire,” with a shadow government based in Waco, Texas. The militant President Bernard Belgrave advocates a takeover of the Texas state government, while his friend Belton Piedmont argues for assimilation and cooperation. The two friends are increasingly at odds.

This information is from Griggs’ article at Wikipedia. You can read more here.

Advertisements