Charles Waddell Chesnutt (1858-1932) and George Washington Cable (1844-1925) were dissenting Southerners whose personal friendship, literary relationship, and political alliance congealed in their passionate rebuttals to the “silent South.” They called for immediate changes in the racist status quo to grant African Americans civil (if not social) equality. In his essay collections The Silent South (1885) and The Negro Question (1890), Cable underscores the critical need to solve the South’s race problems that had only worsened after slavery and the Civil War. His passion for reform also manifested in his popular fi ction featuring Louisiana Creoles and bigotry as part of local color. Cable met Chesnutt in 1888, learned that he was “a colored man,” and recognized immediately the contributions the latter could make to public debates of “the Negro problem” from “an insider’s view.” White supremacists and liberal dissenters like Cable argued about the causes, extent, and viable solutions to racial discord in the South. Chesnutt by the late nineteenth century was a young writer anxious for an opportunity to advance his career with Cable’s assistance.