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After turning himself in, Schuyler was convicted by a military court and sentenced to five years in prison. He was released after nine months as a model prisoner. After his discharge, Schuyler moved to New York City, where he worked as a handyman, doing odd jobs. During this period, he read many books which sparked his interest in socialism. Schuyler dissented from Garvey's philosophy and began writing about his perspectives. Although not fully comfortable with socialist thought, Schuyler engaged himself in a circle of socialist friends, including the black socialist group Friends of Negro Freedom.

This connection led to his employment by A. Lewis, manager of the Pittsburgh Courier. In , Schuyler accepted an offer from the Courier to author a weekly column. By the mids, Schuyler had come to disdain socialism, believing that socialists were frauds who actually cared very little about Negroes. Mencken , who wrote, "I am more and more convinced that [Schuyler] is the most competent editorial writer now in practice in this great free republic.

The Sage Of Sugar Hill: George S. Schuyler And The Harlem Renaissance by Jeffrey Ferguson

Because of his close association with Mencken, as well as their compatible ideologies and sharp use of satire, Schuyler during this period was often referred to as "the Black Mencken. In , the Pittsburgh Courier sent Schuyler on an editorial assignment to the South, where he developed his journalistic protocol: ride with a cab driver, then chat with a local barber , bellboy , landlord , and policeman.

These encounters would precede interviews with local town officials. That year, he published a controversial article entitled "The Negro-Art Hokum " in The Nation , in which he claimed that because blacks have been influenced by Euroamerican culture for years, "the Aframerican is merely a lampblacked Anglo-Saxon" and that no distinctly "negro" style of art exists in the USA. Schuyler objected to the segregation of art by race, writing about a decade after his "Negro-Art Hokum" in an essay that appeared in The Courier in "All of this hullabaloo about the Negro Renaissance in art and literature did stimulate the writing of some literature of importance which will live.

George S. Schuyler and the Harlem Renaissance

The amount, however, is very small, but such as it is, it is meritorious because it is literature and not Negro literature. It is judged by literary and not by racial standards, which is as it should be. In , Schuyler's pamphlet Racial Inter-Marriage in the United States called for solving the country's race problem through miscegenation , which was then illegal in most states.

In , Schuyler published Black No More , which tells the story of a scientist who develops a process that turns black people to white, a book that has since been reprinted twice. Two of Schuyler's targets in the book were Christianity and organized religion , reflecting his innate skepticism of both. His mother had been religious but not a regular churchgoer. As Schuyler aged, he held both white and black churches in contempt. Both, in his mind, contained ignorant, conniving preachers who exploited their listeners for personal gain.

White Christianity was viewed by Schuyler as pro-slavery and pro-racism.


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Between and Schuyler published in the Pittsburgh Courier a weekly serial, which he later collected and published as a novel entitled Black Empire. He also published the highly controversial book Slaves Today: A Story of Liberia , a novel about the slave trade created by former American slaves who settled Liberia in the s. In the s, Schuyler published scores of short stories in the Pittsburgh Courier under various pseudonyms.

Du Bois 's The Crisis. In , he published The Communist Conspiracy against the Negroes. His conservatism was a counterpoint to the predominant liberal philosophy of the civil rights movement in the s and s.

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“At Best Race Is a Superstition”: George S. Schuyler’s Journalistic Battles with Racial Absolutism

King's principal contribution to world peace has been to roam the country like some sable Typhoid Mary , infecting the mentally disturbed with perversions of Christian doctrine, and grabbing fat lecture fees from the shallow-pated. Schuyler opposed the Civil Rights Act of In , he ran for the United States House of Representatives in New York's 18th congressional district on the Conservative Party ticket [10] and endorsed Republican candidate Barry Goldwater for president.

The Courier 's leadership disallowed Schuyler's title of associate editor.

Jeffrey B. Ferguson - Race in the Age of Obama

Prattis , who had been a long-time friend since the s. In the s, Schuyler, who had earlier supported the rights of Black South Africans , was led by his anticommunism to oppose taking any action against South African apartheid , saying in a radio broadcast, "In South Africa you have a system of apartheid. That's their business. Creator Ferguson, Jeffrey B. Summary This is a focus on the life and early career of George Schuyler one of the important intellectuals of the Harlem Renaissance.

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The text presents an understanding of Schuyler as public intellectual while offering insights into the relations between race and satire during a formative period in African-American cultural history. Language eng. Extent 1 online resource xv, pages. Isbn Ferguson Creator Ferguson, Jeffrey B. Harlem New York, N. Library Locations Map Details.


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