Black Man's Burden is a science fiction novel by Dallas McCord "Mack" Reynolds first published in 1961. It is the first in a sequence of near-future stories set in North Africa, which also includes Border, Breed nor Birth (1962), Black Sheep Astray (1973), and The Best Ye Breed (1978).
The turmoil in Africa is only beginning-and it must grow worse before it's better. Not until the people of Africa know they are Africans-not warring tribesmen-will there be peace....
Set in the future--the end of the 20th century--various groups sent by a half-dozen political agencies are working independently trying to break down superstition, tribalism, slavery, and cultural taboos to unite Africa and drag it into the 20th century.
Black Man's Burden and its sequels have been called a "notable exception" to the indirect treatment of racial issues in 1960s science fiction magazines.
Black Man's Burden was originally published as a two-part series in Analog Science Fiction and Fact (December 1961 and January 1962). In 1972, Ace Books reprinted it along with the second book in the sequence, Border, Breed nor Birth.
The readers of Analog voted Black Man's Burden as the best story of its issue in the magazine's Analytical Laboratory (AnLab) poll. The story's popularity with readers prompted Analog's editor, John Campbell, to request Reynolds for a sequel, which he delivered with Border, Breed nor Birth.
Dallas McCord "Mack" Reynolds (1917-1983) was an American science fiction writer. His pen names included Dallas Ross, Mark Mallory, Clark Collins, Dallas Rose, Guy McCord, Maxine Reynolds, Bob Belmont, and Todd Harding.
His work is noteworthy for its focus on socioeconomic speculation, usually expressed in thought-provoking explorations of Utopian societies from a radical, sometime satiric, perspective. He was a considerably popular author from the 1950s to the 1970s, especially with readers of science fiction and fantasy magazines.
Reynolds was the first author to write an original novel based upon the 1966-1969 NBC television series Star Trek, named Mission to Horatius (1968).