It’s 1933, in a near-future Harlem on the verge of massive transformation: crowds are flocking to the new Black-No-More Sanitarium, brainchild of the mysterious Dr. Junius Crookman, eager to change the color of their skin and live free of the burdens of racism and prejudice.
Black No More (1931), George S. Schuyler’s wildly inventive masterpiece, begins with a premise out of pulp-era speculative fiction. What would happen in America if race, by the “strange and wonderful workings of science,” were suddenly no longer a fixed or meaningful category? In the carnivalesque mayhem that ensues as millions undergo Crookman’s procedure and the old racial order is upended, Schuyler spares no one, mocking Klansmen and “race” men alike and reveling in the myriad absurdities of the nation’s racial obsession. By turns hilarious and (in an unforgettable lynching scene) utterly shocking, Black No More is Afrofuturist satire of the highest order––a sui generis Harlem Renaissance tour-de-force.