The Curse of Race Prejudice

The Curse of Race Prejudice

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The HPLHS is pleased to reissue the pamphlet "The Curse of Race Prejudice" written by Lovecraft's friend and correspondent, James F. Morton, Jr. This essay is an expanded version of a speech which Morton delivered on January 21, 1906 in New York. In it, Morton argued that racial hatred is injurious to both its victims and its perpetrators. He asserted that a culture which harbored racial prejudice was headed into contraction and decline. 

James F. Morton, Jr. was among H.P. Lovecraft's numerous correspondents. In many ways he differed greatly from Lovecraft and the two were somewhat improbable friends. When they first became acquainted through the amateur press movement, Lovecraft was a self educated arch-conservative. Morton, twenty years Lovecraft's senior, held undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard and promoted highly progressive ideas. In spite of this the two maintained a lasting friendship.

As an organization, the HPLHS deeply regrets Lovecraft's opinions about race. But HPL has been dead for nearly a century, and nothing we can do will ever change his views. Lovecraft and Morton debated racism along with many other topics. We are embracing this opportunity to share Mr. Morton's timely and insightful opinions.

In 1906, this pamphlet was sold for the price of twenty five cents. We are honoring Mr. Morton's legacy by continuing to offer his 64-page pamphlet at its original price.

Customer Reviews

Based on 12 reviews
Chris Jones
A Thought-Provoking Read!

A very well posited argument on the subject and a thought-provoking read.

Lt. Michael Lamb
An answer to a hard question

We are living in a difficult time, in my own opinion we as a society advance and detract like the tides.
When I first found out the feelings of Lovecraft regarding race I was torn. We renamed military installations that bore the names of Confederates, Statues were removed and icons changed because of the racist tones they carry.
Should I cast off my love of Lovecraft’s works because of his views on race? It is not just the body of his work but my admiration for his style, his imagination, and how his words speak to my love of gothic horror.
James F. Morton, Jr.'s words reminded me that despite the flawed foundation that H.P. Lovecraft believed in he could see past the flaws of the man and his artistry of words.
Lovecraft has long passed and we have no way of knowing if he had been or in our time would his views change. But I can hope as I do every day that we will.
This is an enjoyable book that gave me hope. If a man a century ago saw the flaws and presented valid points the next century we will have changed as much as we have now.

Jeremy L
This should be read and thought over.

Wow the parallels of the past and the present. This is well written and after I read this pamphlet I realized how far we have come and how far we have to go for equality for all.


Just absolute crud and nonsense, nothing wrong with what HPL said its its degrading to see a society that is supposedly honoring him pulling this.

I suspect this critic hasn't read the pamphlet. One may not agree with it, but it's certainly not 'nonsense'. The HPLHS believes one can easily honor the works of HPL and repudiate his odious personal beliefs.

Prejudice is learned, not inherent

This pamphlet shows that even during the dark years of segregation, there were people who believed in the value of all mankind. While some would take this as an indictment against the white race, I think that is not the case as the pamphlet was addressing clear cut cases of exclusion and injustice solely based on false notions of ones race over another. In some ways this has returned though the whip hand has changed as well as the social norms.

Lovecraft for his part was a man with very racist views. And like some beloved relative with strong opinions whom we do not condone, it is a good mark on Mr. Lovecraft that he had a friend who didn't share his views and still maintained a healthy respect.