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Modern Library Harlem RenaissanceWhat would happen to the race problem in America if black people turned white? Would everybody be happy? These questions and more 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 Introduction.The fertile artistic period now known as the Harlem Renaissance (1920- 1930) gave birth to many of the world-renowned masters of black literature and is the model for today's renaissance of black writers.
Published: Random House Publishing Group an imprint of Random House Publishing Group on
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Availability for Black No More; A Novel
    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.more
    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.more
    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.more
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    Reviews

    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.more
    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.more
    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.more
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