❮Read❯ ➵ Black No More ➹ Author George S. Schuyler – Motyourdrive.co.uk


  • Paperback
  • 208 pages
  • Black No More
  • George S. Schuyler
  • English
  • 09 June 2018
  • 9780375753800

10 thoughts on “Black No More

  1. says:

    In a capitalistic economy an underclass will always be created some way, some how Schuyler was well aware of this in 1931, which speaks directly to all the reviewers mentioning this novel s painful relevance.A wonderfully satiric clever intro, for me, into the game changing world of Harlem Renaissance Literature.


  2. says:

    In this Harlem renaissance classic, Schuler mixes satire and science fiction for a unique blend of social commentary Black No More is not often referred to as science fiction, but it is the first science fiction work by an African American writer By definition, a satire can be to be over the top funny Here, Schuler s jokes are mostly in your face , but just when you, as a reader, are feeling saturated by the humor, he switches it up and gives you something a little subtle For myself, I didn t think that it was laugh out loud funny, but I found it extremely interesting The irreverence he showed for the icons of his time, like DuBois was shocking, but I felt he made a good cases to justify his criticism.Schulyer s overarching themes are 1 Racism is absurd 2 Racism is used by capitalist elites to control the population After reading this book, I did a little research on Schyuler, and I was surprised that shortly after writing this book, his political leanings took a 180 degree turn Clearly, part of the agenda in writing Black No More was to garner support for, what was considered at the time, socialist ideas Also, Schuler was very critical of the NAACP Maybe his satire spoke truth about who he was than anyone could have guessed In Black No More he accused everyone of using racism to make money, but Schulyer seems to have done exactly that He aligned himself with agendas that most would consider hostile to civil rights For example, in 1968, in a radio broadcast Schuyler said, In South Africa you have a system of apartheid That s their business I don t think it s the business of other people to change their society He opposed Martin Luther King s award of the Nobel Peace prize Although, in Black No More, he was very critical of the NAACP, Schulyer worked for the NAACP from 1937 1944 as business manager.Was any of the satire based on genuine conviction He criticizes black men for their apparent rejection of black women, but at the time he wrote the book, he was married to the rich, white heiress, Josephine Lewis Cogdell Schuyler became a staunch conservative, leaning extremely right, and he made a good living expounding his point of view He may have switch sides in real life as easily as Max Disher turned into Matthew Fisher It might be interesting to read one of his later books like Black and Conservative the Autobiography of George Schuyler or Rac e Ing to the Right I assume either would offer some explanation for his transformation Questioning Schuyler s real opinions when he wrote this book is interesting, on an academic level to me, but does not change my perception of the book itself It is well done The book lacks depth, but that can be forgiven with a satire I didn t like the part of the ending involving the botched getaway I thought it was little long and gory When I read Black No More, it reminded me of Mat Johnson s Pym In a way, even the endings were similar Johnson lost control of Pym in the same way I think Black got away from Schulyer Both books offer irreverent, entertaining social commentary.This is my first classic of 2016 I m taking part in the 2016 PrettyBooks Classic Challenge My classics blog is


  3. says:

    This mother fucker made me laugh out loud Schuyler was actually a rather conservative African American writing at the same time the Harlem Renaissance was occurring, which as a result, rather shocked me that I would be able to relate so well to his views The premise is that a black doctor read mad scientist has developed a method to artificially give his subjects vitiligo, the disease the Michael Jackson claims to have, that causes the pigment to fade from one s skin As a result there is a mad rush of black folks turning white White supremacists don t know who to trust and basically all racial hell breaks loose I liked it and I don t even really read fiction.


  4. says:

    Bullet Review Pretty creepy that I would 100% believe this could have been written yesterday.What would happen if there was a way that blacks could be made white What would America look like This is that portrait and in Trump s America, it s pretty eery.Just so no one is surprised yes, the n word is used A LOT But these characters are pretty awful both white and black , and this was written in the 1930 s so bear that in mind.


  5. says:

    A lifetime of being Negroes in the United States had convinced them that there was great advantage in being white If the color barrier exists that is, the barrier that keeps black Americans from social acceptance and justice because of their color then why not eliminate the color If everyone were white, then racism should cease to exist Right That is the premise George Schuyler explores in Black No More, an initially breezy little comic novel from 1931 that speculates about what might happen if science developed a quick, easy and affordable medical biological process to eliminate skin pigmentation The conceit is Swiftian, and the believability of its scientific efficacy is just as unimportant as it is in, say, Mary Shelley s Frankenstein or in Stevenson s Jekyll and Hyde, where those processes are similarly vague and incredible and pretty much beside the point We don t have to suspend disbelief about this process as much as we have to believe in the sharpness, astuteness and potency of the resulting satire So, having set up these richly promising possibilities, does Schuyler fully realize them and deliver the goods Not really, I m afraid.Before I elucidate what are for me the strengths and weaknesses of the book and there are, indeed, strengths I need to make it clear up front that, for me, this is one of the worst satirical novels I ve ever read.Normally, I don t bother with plot descriptions in my reviews, as such, but here it might help to provide a little for context The book begins in Harlem, in New York City on New Year s Eve in 1933 and focuses on Max Disher, a dandy doing relatively well for himself despite the Depression While frequenting the uptown night spots, he and an old war buddy, Bunny, shoot the shit on various topics including the haughtiness of high yallah black women, and during the course of the evening, Disher catches the eye of a lovely white lady and is rebuffed and called a nigger when asking her for a dance Disgusted by the various injustices suffered by black Americans, and also retaining a fascination for the unattainable white woman, Disher manages to worm his way into the affections of Dr Crookman, a black scientist who is about to unleash his amazing de pigmenting process based on his research into the whitening skin condition, vitiligo, and manages to make himself the first subject of the doctor s treatment Very quickly, Dr Crookman and his investors, find they ve unleashed a money making monster, and in short order black Americans are lining up around the block in 100 cities to take the treatments in their Black No More clinics The book rather unconvincingly posits that the process also changes other black physical features, including kinked hair, making the transformation complete With so many new whites around, the various vested interests who had profited from either black oriented businesses black hair salons, for instance or those whose livelihoods depended on exploiting the community high rent slum lords, for instance , begin to find their avocations in jeopardy Most importantly, racists no longer have an enemy, no other to hate, so they try to find legislative ways to stop the whitening of the country There is still black blood coursing through these new fake whites, after all The racists see it as a new plot managing, of course, to throw Communism in as a phony instigator to infiltrate white society through stealthy race mixing.Max, now white, takes on a new name and identity as Matthew Fisher, and goes to Atlanta in search of his white dream girl, Helen While there he ingratiates himself with a racist reverend who happens to be the gal s father but is also the head of a powerful new Klan type organization dedicated to destroying Black No More Matthew eventually rises to power in the organization, laughing all the way to the bank and learning a lot about white society as he proceeds, and even manages to marry Helen The complicated plot weaves through various political maneuvers as the forces at war try to destroy or sustain Black No More.This all sounds very good and there are laughs and some sharply observed truths that emerge as the plot plays out.The most important point the book addresses, and it is a piquant one still as relevant and real as ever, is society s need for the scapegoat, the other, the person or the group that can keep the social order divided to divert attention from real human problems and solutions and keep elites in power This paradigm also allows the lower white classes to have their own whipping boy to blow off steam and ignore their real enemies The racial divide serves that purpose, and eliminating it threatens too many vested interests One must be able to see one s perceived enemy in plain sight.At the same time, Schuyler boldly broaches some sensitive topics and some skewers some sacred cows He has no truck with a hagiographic styled presentation of black grievances that overlooks the foibles and hypocrisies of black people or of ineffectual community leaders The following quote referring to one male character s bent toward sexual harassment, for instance, might even please a contemporary feminist He bitterly denounced the Nordics for debauching Negro women while taking care to hire comely yellow stenographers with weak resistance Schuyler pops balloons left and right Settles old scores Deflates dogmas and egos in an equal opportunity manner Politics, religion, the economic order, social habits, all come in for a pointed drubbing His lampooning of religion is often spot on, as seen in these quotes She believed the Bible from cover to cover, except what it said about people with money He quickly saw that these people would believe anything that was shouted at them loudly and convincingly enough Such quotes, while representing the book s strengths are also typical of its weaknesses Human beings, or in this case, his characters, are simply ciphers for Schuyler to hang judgments upon Yes, Schuyler nails how stupidly gullible and pliable the American public is He s hip to the forces that go on in the social order He s keen to the hypocrisies and self serving connections that bind a Randian selfish universe he sees that shooting one s self in the foot is, ironically, a survival strategy He makes us aware that he was aware of the comic absurdity of it all I give him kudos and props for having his pulse on the sad state of things And truly, one admires him for writing a book that had to be written He identifies the problems, and spells them out Unfortunately, that s all he does And that does not make for a novel.Schuyler seems to have thought out all of the possible fall out results of the de colorization of America, but presents them as little than a laundry list, as though merely mentioning them gives them any kind of novelistic gravitas or substance.Even worse, Schuyler s approach is unyieldingly misanthropic there s nobody in his universe worth a shit black or white It s like John Calvin writing a French farce.Schuyler s particular brand of snark comes with large nudges and unseen but very blatantly felt exclamation points just to make sure you get the joke When he mocks a character, he makes sure to ascribe outrageous physical traits to them He makes sure that you know, before he even mocks them, that they look worthy of mockery Loading the deck against his characters to mock them in this way is akin to playing whack a mole with an atomic bomb Subtle delineation gives way to editorial cartooning, and often I found it mean spirited, offensive and an insult to the intelligence of the reader.Even with characters who make a one sentence appearance, Schuyler takes pains to describe their looks before lampooning them He abuts this with the usage of obviously twee funny names Buggerie, Snobbcraft, Kretin, Crookman, etc to further drive home the point There are a lot of dead fish floating in this shot up barrel.Having repeatedly established that the racist Rev Givens is a con man and a greedy fraud, Schuyler, pages later, still manages to describe him as the avaricious Rev Givens OK, already In a chapter devoted to an important national radio speech by Rev Givens, Schuyler extensively quotes the announcer s speech leading up to it, and then, instead of quoting Givens actual speech, Schuyler simply summarizes it paraphrasing he talked about this and that Why not spell out the actual speech after all this buildup Because of its premise, Schuyler can t help but wander unavoidably into mixed message territory In one instance, he satirizes a black advocacy organization for secretly loving outrages such as lynchings of blacks, because such incidents increased the coffers of the organization That, he posits, is the sole reason for the advocacy group s opposition to the changes wrought by Black No More This, of course, is an alarmingly disturbing charge, and ignores the notion that black advocacy groups might simply be opposed to the idea of people changing to white simply because there s nothing wrong with being black and that the organization might, in fact, have a noble purpose apart from raising money In fact, Schuyler spares nobody involved in black advocacy movements from charges of suspect motivations Even Marcus Garvey, W.E.B Du Bois, and others under fictitious names are not spared Schuyler s acid pen.There are some interesting passages later in the book after the novel has wended its way through its tortuously repetitive political plotting such as when Helen has to make a decision about her baby and comes to a sweet change of heart and when two racists get their comeuppance by being confused with blacks and getting horrendously mutilated by a white crowd out for blood And the book ends on a funny note in which darkening becomes a trend when people who are too white become the new target of prejudice.Schuyler s plot swamps some of the occasional interesting suggestions he makes about the tragic loss of culture that occurs as the race ceases to exist But, like many things in the book, it s part of a litany of lost opportunities Black No More makes remarkable points and is historically interesting for addressing what seem to be, unfortunately, timeless injustices in the racial and general social order At the same time, the novel s thematic ambitions, and Schuyler s inability to manage them sink the book I ve rarely seen a novel collapse so badly under the weight of its ambitions What starts off as a tasty little meal quickly half processes through a poorly functioning digestive system to emerge as a corn laden steaming pile of crap It s a comic extravaganza that goes off the rails, badly.That s too bad, because Schuyler did have talent I like the opening pages in Harlem as Max sampled its nightlife In fact, Schuyler s grasp of that milieu is so good that I wish he had scaled down his grandiosity and instead told a story that involved just a few well fleshed out characters living in the city.Instead, he was a chef who wanted to throw everything into his one novelistic souffle and by hurrying it along and half baking it ended up with a dish with some admirable ingredients that nonetheless leaves you nauseous KR KY 2016


  6. says:

    This outrageous, hilarious and insightful novel is one of the great masterpieces of satire and of black American literature The subject matter is taboo even today It is than a satire of race it covers much ground, slapping around numerous deserving targets religion, politics, sex, and Ultimately it is about the great and endless gullibility of the human race It would make a fabulous movie, if someone had the guts to do it Spike Lee, maybe Schuyler, surely the greatest black journalist in American history, is a fascinating character who deserves a great deal attention than he has received He was a close friend and admirer of the great H.L Mencken, and shared many of Mencken s views and salty style, so much so that Schuyler was sometimes called the Black Mencken Mencken in turn once described him as possible the most competent editorial writer now in practice, strong praise indeed from America s greatest journalist As a young man he was a socialist, but he became a conservative with libertarian leanings His conservatism led to his being utterly shunned by the intelligentsia in the last years of his life In recent years there has thankfully been interest in the large and very rich body of work he produced.


  7. says:

    In this science fiction satire of racial politics in America, George S Schuyler imagines a world in which a chemical cure for blackness is discovered, turning the erstwhile inhabitants of Harlem into mirror images of their white compatriots He compares this chemical cure to the cosmetics industry of his age, hair straighteners and skin lighteners, and he relentlessly underscores the profitability of prejudice, social anxiety, and self loathing Schuyler is incredibly cynical, which is sometimes hard to read, even in the context of broad satire all of the characters from the head of the Ku Klux Klan to the head of the fictionalized NAACP are out to make a buck and advance their reputations, usually at the expense of the populations they purport to represent However, in many of his insights about political manipulation and racial hatred, Schuyler could be speaking about Tea Party politics Writing about an audience of working class white people riled into anger about the possibility that there are unrecognized black people in their midst, Schuyler writes Herein lay the fundamental cause of all their ills Times were hard, they reasoned, because there were so many white Negroes in their midst taking their jobs and undermining their American standard of living None of them had ever attained an American standard of living to be sure, but that fact never occurred to any of them 81 Similarly, of an upper class white supremacist, Schuyler observes While he had no love for the Knights of Nordica the novel s revived Klan which, he held, contained just the sort of people he wanted to legislate into impotency, social, economic, and physical, he believed he could use them to gain his point This opportunistic alliance between money and the religious masses anticipates Reagan and the religious right, as it does the contemporary Tea Party and its constituency.Schuyler s central trope is inspired, as he uses the sudden illegibility of skin color to unpack the politics of passing and white beauty standards, to reveal the morass of genealogy that renders the grand theories and binaries of race science nonsensical as well as hateful the white supremacists, trying to research their own purity, reveal that all supposedly white families contain black ancestryThough Finding Your Roots is totally sincere as opposed to this ironic masterpiece, author Henry Louis Gates Jr 3862441 must have had a chuckle at how much Schuyler would appreciate these narratives of the country s interracialism when he began his American genealogy genome show for PBS , and to dramatize whiteness as a constructed source of social distinction By the end of the book, characters wishing to prove their whiteness must darken their skin because the transformation process from black to white is rud to produce super white skin So the ironic conclusion finds his would be white characters on tanning beds and employing skin creams Schuyler s satirical tone is Swiftian in its ruthlessness the description of a lynching towards the end of the book, carried out on two white supremacist characters who have been revealed to have black ancestry, is brutal, dispassionate yet grisly and rending and in its pessimism about human character Twain like in its irreverence and lampooning of authority, pretense, and religion She believed in the Bible from cover to cover, except what it said about people with money and Austenian in its tongue in cheek characterizations that elegantly and completely denigrate their subjects like the other girls of her set, she was anxious to get a husband who at the same time was handsome, intelligent, educated, refined, and rolling in wealth As she was ignorant of the fact that no such man existed, she looked confidently forward into the future.So why four stars instead of five stars when I often found this book very funny, I think it would be very effective in the classroom, and it s a classic of African American satire and, arguably, science fiction A couple of different reasons The first is personal taste the exposure of everyone s crass self interest becomes very repetitive, which made me enjoy the book less than I might have had it been a bit interested in its characters or the complexities of these organizations, liturgical, legislative, and corporate The second is Schuyler s apparent disdain for poor people Ironically, this connects up with one of my favorite parts of the book, the indictment of the political distraction of the white working class from their own plight by way of inflaming racial hatred While there are signs that Schuyler is aware of the structural forces keeping ignorance, unhappiness, and anger alive he even mocks a black sociologist for revealing the amazing fact that poor people went to jail oftener than rich ones that most of the people were not getting enough money for their work that strangely enough there was some connection between poverty, disease, and crime , he also expresses some hard for me to stomach disdain for the poor and working classes hard faced, lantern jawed, dull eyed adult children It threatens to sound like the eugenics rhetoric that Schuyler roundly rejects and debunks throughout the novel While he mitigates it with an awareness of social context the young men, aged before their time by child labor and a violent environment , it bothered me This snobbery fits with his wholesale rejection of philanthropy and political activism as barely disguised self interest and financial opportunism, which is both quite funny and an important reminder to not take do gooders at their word, important skepticism today too and then also depressing and monotonous Schuyler s belief that everyone s actions boil down to market motives anticipate his notorious late career conservativism.Nonetheless, a powerful book both in the laughter and in the unease that it inspires I will end my review with another dose of Schuyler s wit President Goosie averred again and again, I intend to make my second term as honest and efficient as my first Though a dire threat, this statement was supposed to be a fine promise.


  8. says:

    Super smart Loved the content and idea Didn t love the writing The humor did g translate for me 80 years on Still relevant as far as the topic and conversations.


  9. says:

    Wow, this was a hilarious book


  10. says:

    IQ Despite his happiness Max found it pretty dull There was something lacking in these ofay places of amusement or else there was present that one didn t find in the black and tan resorts in Harlem The joy and abandon here was obviously forced Patrons went to extremes to show each other they were having a wonderful time It was all so strained and quite unlike anything to which he hard been accustomed The Negroes, it seemed to him, were much gayer, enjoyed themselves deeply and yet they were restrained, actually refined pg 22 Absolutely hilarious and way ahead of its time Well hilarious until the bitter end which was surprisingly intense and sad The tone of the novel completely changes I chose the IQ because it expresses Max Disher s experiences of feelings of social disconnect from white culture While Schuyler never explicitly discusses racial pride, it is an underlying element of the story Scuyler makes fun of all leaders engaged in race work because he does not want people to see race, he wants it erased Schuyler goes after everyone and everything race related from Dr DuBois aka Dr Shakespeare Agamenon to the UNIA Marcus Garvey to Black peoples obsession with looking acting white in any way they could Its interesting because in my Harlem Renaissance class we also read Schuyler s essay The Negro Art Hokum and BLACK NO MORE contradicts that essay somewhat In the book race has social, economic, cultural and political connotations Schuyler somewhat acknowledges this fact in the book but not in the essay Schuyler also makes the point that the issue of race has been used to hide class differences, much as it still is today At one point the doctor who has pioneered this black no formula explains how to solve the problem of the darky dialect pg 14 , There is no such thing as Negro dialect, except in literature and drama It is a well known fact among informed persons that a Negro from a given section speaks the same dialect as his white neighbors In the South you can t tell over the telephone whether you are talking to a white man or a Negro There are no racial or color dialects only sectional dialects pg 14 This is true to a certain extent and I think was a rather revolutionary idea so for Schuyler to so blatantly address it is impressive Food for thought Chicagoans talk differently than say Northeasterners, but Black Chicagoans talk differently than white Chicagoans I would argue The author is very thorough in describing the conseqeunces of this magical black no formula, and there are some bad often hysterically funny consequences My favorite intellectual satire bit was tiny, and I don t want to spoil anything but it had to do with mixed kid and Americans obsession with them, viewing them as attractive SO FAR AHAD OF HIS TIME I can t even.


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Black No Morecharacters Black No More, audiobook Black No More, files book Black No More, today Black No More, Black No More f7e35 Modern Library Harlem RenaissanceWhat Would Happen To The Race Problem In America If Black People Turned White Would Everybody Be Happy These Questions And Are Answered Hilariously In Black No More, George S Schuyler S Satiric Romp Black No More Is The Story Of Max Disher, A Dapper Black Rogue Of An Insurance Man Who, Through A Scientific Transformation Process, Becomes Matthew Fisher, A White Man Matt Dreams Up A Scam That Allows Him To Become The Leader Of The Knights Of Nordica, A White Supremacist Group, As Well As To Marry The White Woman Who Rejected Him When He Was Black Black No More Is A Hysterical Exploration Of Race And All Its Self Serving Definitions If You Can T Beat Them, Turn Into Them Ishmael Reed, One Of Today S Top Black Satirists And The Author Of Mumbo Jumbo And Japanese By Spring, Provides A Spirited IntroductionThe Fertile Artistic Period Now Known As The Harlem Renaissance Gave Birth To Many Of The World Renowned Masters Of Black Literature And Is The Model For Today S Renaissance Of Black Writers


About the Author: George S. Schuyler

1895 1977 , satirist, critic, and journalist George Samuel Schuyler was born in Providence, Rhode Island, to Eliza Jane Fischer and George S Schuyler He grew up in a middle class, racially mixed neighborhood in Syracuse, New York, where he attended public schools until he enlisted in the army at the age of seventeen He spent seven years 1912 1919 with the black 25th U.S Infantry and was