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‘Death Cry of a Vanishing Race’
The Hills of the Dead by Robert E. Howard (Audiobook) Solomon Kane #5

The real hero and character of interest in this tale of the wandering Puritan crusader, is not the dour Anglo, but the best magic negro in fiction, N’longa, the Juju Man of the West African coast.

One and all, the black characters are rendered with passion, compassion, deftness and empathy, overriding the sense of “The Whiteman’s burden” which Kane carries heavily into the magnetic land of Equatorial Africa.

“Me N’longa. Bodies like clothes,”spake the personification of agency which is the black sorcerer, as if sneering at the patronizing white liberals of our dying race who can only conceive of blacks as pets and martyrs.

Howard, who knew black and mixed race people who had survived chattel slavery, yet remained imbued with a sense of story and willful redemption, consistently wrought realistically willful black characters, at odds with the racial conservatism of his age and the racial liberalism of our age, to produce a series fictional actionists of African descent, chief among them. Solomon Kane’s blood brother: N’longa, the Juju Man, who, not incidentally, provides The Hills of the Dead with the best ending of a vampire story ever written.

“Mighty men, we be,”explains N’longa to Kane, as an elder to a boy, both of them having emerged from slavery along the differing scales of their life journeys, Kane rowing a Spanish galley and N’longa having emerged from a more ancient servitude.

“All things bow to magic, blood brother,”explains the fetish man to Kane, going on to tell him that though he is a great warrior he is as a child besides the ancient mysteries of the unseen world.

Across the fiction of Howard’s horrific mythology, the reader is asked to consider that humanity is greater than the one biomonolith of Liberal doctrine and greater than the racial pyramid of Conservative ideology, but a well of distinct and rival streams of humanity, who, striving, surviving and allying against and with one another might stand against the incomprehensible gulfs that threaten to consume them all. Howard’s fiction presents the races of humanity as more numerous, more distinct, less able to assimilate and yet more deeply linked than either Left or Right, modern or postmodern thought is willing to consider.

A Well of Heroes

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