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The Black Girl in Search of God

The Black Girl in Search of God (and Some Lesser Tales) is the title of a book of short stories written by George Bernard Shaw. The title story is a parable concerning the attempts of a black native African girl to find and literally speak to God after being brainwashed by misguided missionaries. She meets a variety of people whilst searching for him within the jungle, many of whom represent aspects of religious faith and values from Bernard Shaw's time period. Eventually she settles down with an Irish man and has a family with him, considering her intial quest to be foolish.

The title of the book has racist overtones but this isn't true of the story itself. The main protagonist, the 'black girl', has been hailed by critics as a feminist figure, able as she is to defend herself with her knobkerrie and able as she is to ask what are effectively searching theological questions, albeit from a naive standpoint (such as wanting to know if God is white or black). At times Bernard Shaw even parodies the racist attitudes of white colonialists and the title itself may well be ironic.

The book opens with an essay by Bernard Shaw questioning the power of the Bible in which he makes the case that it is merely a book without any mystical value, although he does make the case that it has strong ethical messages and is valuable in other ways.

Because of this, the book caused an uproar on publication circa 1932. It was originally published as Short Stories, Scraps and Shavings.