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The Sage of Sugar HillGeorge S. Schuyler and the Harlem Renaissance$
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Jeffrey B. Ferguson

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780300109016

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300109016.001.0001

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Hokum and Beyond

Hokum and Beyond

(p.183) Chapter Seven Hokum and Beyond
The Sage of Sugar Hill

Jeffrey B. Ferguson

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the views of George Schuyler on Negro art. Schuyler's satire, “The Negro-Art Hokum,” plays the evil dark twin in black literature anthologies to “The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain,” Langston Hughes's famous response to Schuyler in The Nation. Schuyler dismisses the whole idea of a separate black American culture in a humorous tone as an ideological reflex of the mob, and asserts the mixed-race character of black Americans, who, in this case, he refers to as “colored.” He emphasizes both black cultural diversity and the racial intermixture of certain well-known black thinkers. Schuyler maintains that such cultural creations as the Sorrow Songs, ragtime, and jazz, which many observers attribute to black Americans as a whole, are foreign to Northern Negroes, West Indian Negroes, and African Negroes.

Keywords:   George Schuyler, Negro art, Negro artist, black American culture, black cultural diversity

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