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From Marxist to Black Conservative

By Chidike Okeem

Book Review

George S. Schuyler (1895–1977) is one of the most consequential black conservative columnists in American history. His autobiography Black and Conservative, published in 1966, sketches the voyage of his life. It explores his journey from being the son of a head chef, his time in the military, to his eventual days as a conservative columnist—a drastic change from his quondam Marxism. Although the book becomes tremendously fascinating when the text centers around the development of Schuyler’s philosophical and political views, the rest of the narrative is stultifying. The details of his life are of less interest than the ideas that life produced. One can find the liveliest prose when Schuyler quotes his own political columns. Despite being a celebrated writer with great wit, his life story, as presented, simply does not translate into a compelling read.