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Black No More: Being an Account of the…

Black No More: Being an Account of the Strange and Wonderful Workings of… (1931)

by George S. Schuyler

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226551,336 (3.81)7



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Showing 5 of 5
This minor classic from the Harlem Renaissance (1927) is a satire about a guy who invents a serum that turns black people white. Everyone soon is, and we end up with the inevitable conclusion that "we're all niggers." The prose is sometimes clunky, but the satire is well-crafted and effective. (Side note: this is the logical end point for a surprising number of books from the era about passing for white, including Nella Larsen's "Passing" and Jessi Fauset's "Plum Bun.") I dug it pretty well, although I don't think its relegation to the margins is unjustified.

Theme but not plot spoiled ahead: Be ready for a shockingly violent conclusion; it's a pretty drastic shift in tone, and not really an effective one. ( )
  AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
George S. Schuyler’s brilliance and wit are sometimes overshadowed by the rabid conservativism of his later years and his support of organizations like the John Birch society. ( )
  zenosbooks | Feb 25, 2009 |
This is a smart and gracefully written read. For anyone interested in considering race theory or race relations in the United States, or for anyone who appreciates satire, this is a must-read. Both frightening and understandable, the book draws you in easily, and holds you almost despite yourself until the inevitable, and yet surprising, end result. Highly recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Feb 2, 2009 |
This novel can be read equally as a satire and a classic science fiction novel. The premise is that an invention is created to make African-Americans appear to look 'white'. The novel follows the life of one of the first men to be transformed, Max Disher, who transforms himself into Matthew Fisher to marry a white woman who rejected him. This trajectory allows him to both marry the woman and become an important member of a white supremacist group. The novel explores the social, economic and political impacts of race by imagining the chaos that would occur if the racial binary was removed. Despite Schuyler's conservative reputation, the book emphasizes the role that race plays in the economic exploitation of capitalism. Perhaps the only element that reveals Schuyler's conservative streak is the fact that the novel seems to be fairly cynical about structurally transforming the world it describes. The novel is also a fairly open satire of many of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Marcus Garvey and W.E.B. DuBois. Schuyler's prose style is fairly pulpy, but it works well for the satire, and although this review doesn't necessarily reveal it, its a pretty funny, if occasionally disturbing, novel. ( )
1 vote wrobert | Aug 8, 2008 |
176 pages, loaned to me by my son. A political satire of black men becoming white, too funny. ( )
  chaoscat60 | Apr 5, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
George S. Schuylerprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Reed, IshmaelIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 037575380X, Paperback)

This satirical Harlem Renaissance-era novel by black conservative intellectual George S. Schuyler (1895-1977), who wrote for the Pittsburgh Courier and contributed to the NAACP's influential Crisis magazine, is a hilariously insightful treatise on the absurdities of racial identity. Dr. Junius Crookman, a Harlem-based African American physician, mysteriously returns from Germany with a formula that can transform black people into whites. "It looked," Schuyler deadpans, "as though science was to succeed where the Civil War failed." One of the first to enlist Dr. Crookman's services is an insurance salesman named Max Disher, who as the white Matthew Fisher is now free to pursue the white women who once rejected him and otherwise bask in Euro-American social privilege (including a top position in a hate group called the Knights of Nordica). Schuyler unveils the futility of this electro-chemical form of "passing" through the emptiness the Disher/Fisher character encounters in the white cultural world, which doesn't measure up to the Harlem nightlife--revealing the poison behind the notion of wanting to be something you're not. --Eugene Holley Jr.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:36 -0400)

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Max Disher, a black 1930s insurance salesman, undergoes a procedure to turn him white, but discovers that white society is not what he thought it would be.

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Voland Edizioni

An edition of this book was published by Voland Edizioni.

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