Black No More is a quirky scientific thriller about a technology that changes Blacks to blond haired, blue eyed, anglo-saxon White people during the Harlem Renaissance. It follows Max Disher through a time period of great expression for the artistic and talented which Max Disher is neither. He’s an average joe with with above average dreams. He’s a single black man with the common trappings of the flesh. Sometimes he overcomes and sometimes he indulges.
Max and many others take the procedure and the results are a roaring good time. Much of which is the influx of interracial relationships that spring up. The only caveat is that the white men and women who are White by God’s choice and not man’s are totally unaware that they are in sexual relationships with the very blacks they disdain. LOL.
The revelry rolls on until the only flaw in this transformation procedure is revealed — The new born babies come out the womb with cocoa brown skin! These newly discovered interracial couples are then left to deal with the mental maze of hatred, lust, love and acceptance.
The story gets even crazier when the Klu Klux Klan is infiltrated by our protagonist black man in white skin. Now here the book could have went too far and become tasteless. But it didn’t. Great comic writers know how to playfully edge their toe against that line without crossing it. And that’s why I applaud George Schuyler brilliance.
George Schuyler puts everything in this story. Comedy, Love, and Drama. He even explains how the economics of the country change because of race changing. He also lampoons caricatures of WEB Dubois, Marcus Garvey, and Madam CJ Walker. He regards them as having such a vested financial interest in black poverty that they also stood to lose a considerable amount of power and status and would do anything to keep it. I do not wholeheartedly agree with his assessment of these folks but I love that he is able analyze them as contemporaries as opposed to heroes which we view them as 80 years later.
I wondered why I had never come across this book before. From what I gather from googling, George Schulyer was not the symbol of black pride. Though he was a successful writer for a white publication he was not a resistance writer. I could see how this put his work in a purgatory between white authors that can explore a broad range of topics and black authors that must speak on racial resistance.
This book but is a delightful page turner. Like a great comedy its most funny when it reflects truth right back at us. If Living Color was a book in 1933 it still would not be as funny as this.