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Title:A 1930s African-American View of Liberia: George S. Schuyer
Author:Lawson, Benjamin S.
Periodical:Liberian Studies Journal
Geographic term:Liberia
African Americans
History and Exploration
international relations
About person:George Samuel Schuyler (1895-)
Abstract:During the 1930s, one of the most notable African-American writers concerned with the domestic affairs and international image of Liberia was novelist-journalist-social critic George S. Schuyler. So intrigued by Liberia was Schuyler that he wrote several essays and editorials about the land, and the whole or the part of two novels. Schuyler focused in his writings on both the fate and the fable of Liberia, on what the nation was for West Africans and on what it meant, symbolized, for African Americans. In this paper, for the most part, Schuyler's thoroughly-calculated views in his full-length books are discussed: his autobiography, 'Black and conservative' (1966), and the two novels, 'Slaves today: a story of Liberia' (1931), and 'Black Empire', originally serialized in the 'Pittsburgh Courier' from 1936 to 1938. The present author concludes that the key to assessing Schuyler's views on Liberia lies not so much in his texts per se as in his attitudes toward his texts. What he says is clear enough; how the reader is to take it often is not. Bibliogr., notes, ref.