The House Behind the Cedars


Rena (Shingzie Howard) is a young woman of mixed race. Although she is romantically pursued by an upwardly mobile African American named Frank (C.D. Griffith), Rena does not decide in his favor. Her appearance allows her to pass for white, as she is of majority European ancestry, although she has grown up in the black community.

She meets and falls in love with George Tryon, a young white aristocrat (Lawrence Chenault). But as their relationship deepens, Rena believes she has to acknowledge her African ancestry. She leaves John and returns to Frank, yet her decision creates great inner turmoil. As she accepts Frank as her life partner, she confesses: “Frank, I am miserable.”[3]

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