“He had formed many friendships in the university, the most outstanding of which was that with Dr. Lebrun, professor of history and dean of the university, and the leader of the radical wing of national Negro thought.” (p. 106)
Chesnutt based this character on W.E.B. DuBois.
“The pseudo-scientific Nordic propagandists had, by their pontifical announcements, prepared the soil for the Ku Klux Klan…” (p. 107)
According to Dean McWilliams, Chesnutt wrote in his Ohio University manuscript, “the propagandists of race purity-Lathrop Stoddard, Madison Grant and other pseudo-scientists of their school.”
“…it was at first assumed that the murderer was a Negro. But very soon suspicion fell upon the girl’s employer, a Jewish merchant of good standing.” (p. 108)
The unnamed character is based on Leo M. Frank– convicted of rape and murder – the testimony of blacks was accepted because Frank was Jewish.