Black no More, Proletariat no more?
“It’s as clear as Black and White”. A commonly quoted phrase used to demonstrate the absolute or truthful distinction of a point, concept, or fact of life. The unintentional irony of this quote is exemplified perfectly in the novel written by George Schuyler entitled Black No More, in which a miraculous operation allows for the physical appearance of African Americans to be altered, making them appear Caucasian, practically indistinguishable from the other naturally-born Caucasians. In its setting of the 1930’s, such a concept would be deemed miraculous, as during this time period, the civil rights movements were still in their infancy stage; because of this, most of the shunned African-American citizens strove to take the treatment. The concept of race by itself, was meant to be resolved by this procedure, however, unbeknownst to them, this would cause an economic backlash that questioned the nature of everything in that society. first off, the smaller businesses that thrived upon either the exclusiveness of the African race or the exploitation of African Americans’ inequality began slowly disintegrating, as they no longer required the services of hair-straighteners, like Madame Sisseretta Blandish , or with their newly-acquired rights, refused to live in the less-than-ideal living conditions, given their new equality. On a larger scale, society buckled under the increase of new Caucasians, while most the of the less-favorable, cheap-labor jobs were dropped by them. in search of higher wages, leaving the necessary but less glamorous jobs unfulfilled. The connection between this relationship is mainly economic in nature, however, what stood out to me the most was the irony in the treatment; reminiscent of Bourgeois and proletariat in the Iron heel. Only now, rather than separated by profession or by family title, race is the exclusive right, as the Bourgeois race disregards and abuses the proletariat race. When the proletariat work force “disappeared”, rather than focusing on the true issue of the flaws of their societal systems, they place their blames on both the company providing the procedure, and ironically, on those who did the bulk of labor for them. As this book proves, there is no one-cut solution to fix a problem, and money is merely another factor in separating individuals. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdLPe7XjdKc This tale sounds a little too familiar…don’t you think?