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Black No More (Penguin Classics) av George…
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Black No More (Penguin Classics) (urspr publ 1931; utgåvan 2018)

av George S. Schuyler (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygDiskussioner
362952,808 (3.77)Ingen/inga
"The landmark comic satire that asks, "What would happen if all black people in America turned white?" It's New Year's Day 1933 in New York City, and Max Disher, a young black man, has just found out that a certain Dr. Junius Crookman has discovered a mysterious process that allows people to bleach their skin white--a new way to "solve the American race problem." Max leaps at the opportunity, and after a brief stay at the Crookman Sanitarium, he becomes Matthew Fisher, a white man who's able to attain everything he's ever wanted: money, power, good liquor, and the white woman who rejected him when he was black. Lampooning myths of white supremacy and racial purity and caricaturing prominent African American leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois, Madam C. J. Walker, and Marcus Garvey, Black No More is a masterwork of speculative fiction and a hilarious satire of America's obsession with race. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators"--… (mer)
Medlem:julesmoffitt
Titel:Black No More (Penguin Classics)
Författare:George S. Schuyler (Författare)
Info:Penguin Classics (2018), 208 pages
Samlingar:Home Library, Ditt bibliotek, Ska läsas
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Black No More : A Novel av George S. Schuyler (1931)

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Funny and clever in the squirming, uncomfortable way I've come to expect from good satires. Schuyler sends up both sides of the color line, from uplifters to supremacists - and many other politicians, religious figures, and poor and corporate types in-between. All the -isms (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) and the -ologies (theology, anthropology, biology, etc.) get their turn at bat and no one comes out looking good... which reveals how Schuyler painted himself into a corner with this one - the characters are funny but not altogether likable, and the gears of deus ex machina reveal themselves for just a brief moment towards the end before Schuyler has us laughing again. But for such a quick and entertaining read, these are small complaints.

Some of my friends says that he reminds them of Ishmael Reed, and while I have yet to read one of the latter's books, based on what I heard I can see the comparison. In this book which centers somewhat around a black man who, through the help of a scientist, turns himself white, Schuyler presents a book that is often unique and - particularly as it was published in 1931 - surprising. It's is a straightforward read that makes some complicated and subversive issues about race and class ultimately seem simple, maybe even laughable. ( )
  irrelephant | Feb 21, 2021 |
The Harlem Renaissance of the 1920’s was an explosion of African American expression across a wide spectrum of arts. Unfortunately, that blossoming didn’t last because it had to exist largely outside the dominant white culture and many of venues for that expression either dried up or were on their way out by the time the stock market crashed in 1929. A personal favorite Zora Neale Hurston died virtually penniless when she should have been afforded the opportunity to write up to her last breath. There is a similar explosion going on today but this time the African American experience is saturating the culture at large and creating its own space—gaining more control over its content, distribution and profits. Within this new wave is the concept of Afrofuturism. The largely science fiction form re-imagining of the African American Past, Present & especially Future is quite a departure for a culture traditionally trapped into seeing the world one day at a time. If you are constantly being told your present has no value, then you don’t spend much time imagining your future. The term Afrofuturism was coined in 1993 and is generally considered to have germinated in the 1950’s but I’d like to make the case that its seed was planted with the Harlem Renaissance novel, BLACK NO MORE by George S. Schuyler. Noted essayist and scholar Schuyler presents a world where African Americans are given the option to be turned white and thus, be black no more. For the purposes of the novel, virtually every African American takes advantage of this offer and most of the novel is America trying to adjust to the new landscape during a presidential election year. Schuyler uses this gimmick to take shots at both sides of the racial divide. One point driven home particularly well and quite reminiscent of today is the cultivation of racism as a means to congregate votes. The often thin lines between the Klan and the Church, the Church and politicians, the politicians and the businessmen and businessmen and the Klan are explored throughout. Owing to Schuyler’s background, much of the BLACK NO MORE could be mistaken for an extended non-fiction article more than a novel. This is a mixture of strength and weakness—lending more credibility to the goings on but less attachment as a reader to the participants. This novel is thin in spots because it often rushes where it might linger a little longer in order to get to the next satire. It also glosses over any second thoughts about a community abandoning its entire history to make a satiric point but it does achieve a kind of brilliance in the end—the white culture is so twisted in knots over racial identity that eventually to be too white is to be considered suspect. Many shades of satire are shared here, much of it quite funny, including the darkest possible to necessarily remind the reader of the worst places racism can lead. I happened upon this by chance having never heard of it or the author before. Would be a shame if it could not be lifted up by the current rising tides of expression.



( )
  KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
A remarkably cynical look at race relations in the 1930s that speaks to today. Written in the 1930s, this novel begins with the discovery of a medical procedure that will transform blacks into whites. The book then continues with the repercussions of this for white supremacists, black nationalists, Republicans, Democrats, evangelists, and industrialists. Nobody is sparred in this clever work of cynicism. Although the language is very dated, the book is well worth reading for its perspectives on today's political environment. ( )
  M_Clark | Jan 20, 2018 |
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 |
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This book is dedicated to all Caucasians in the great republic who can trace their ancestry back ten generation sand confidently assert that there are no black leaves, twigs, limbs or branches on their family trees.
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"The landmark comic satire that asks, "What would happen if all black people in America turned white?" It's New Year's Day 1933 in New York City, and Max Disher, a young black man, has just found out that a certain Dr. Junius Crookman has discovered a mysterious process that allows people to bleach their skin white--a new way to "solve the American race problem." Max leaps at the opportunity, and after a brief stay at the Crookman Sanitarium, he becomes Matthew Fisher, a white man who's able to attain everything he's ever wanted: money, power, good liquor, and the white woman who rejected him when he was black. Lampooning myths of white supremacy and racial purity and caricaturing prominent African American leaders like W. E. B. Du Bois, Madam C. J. Walker, and Marcus Garvey, Black No More is a masterwork of speculative fiction and a hilarious satire of America's obsession with race. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators"--

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