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BLACK EMPIRE by George Samuel Schuyler


by George Samuel Schuyler

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 1991
ISBN: 1-55553-114-8

 The first appearance in book form of the serialized fiction of the late black satirist and journalist Schuyler that ran, between 1936 and 1938, in the Pittsburgh Courier under the pen-name of ``Samuel I. Brooks.'' Divided into two parts--Black Internationale: A Story of Black Genius Against the World and Black Empire: An Imaginative Story of a Great New Civilization in Modern Africa--the book is part utopian in vision, part satirical, and part an eloquent indictment of white racism. Written in brief chapters for immediate publication, the whole story of the Black Empire--both parts--is told by one Carl Slater, a promising black journalist who is kidnapped in Harlem by the charismatic but satanic genius Dr. Belsidus. The doctor has been quietly forming a Black Internationale throughout the world that, when the time is ripe, will create dissension in Europe and the US and that, in the ensuing chaos, will reclaim Africa for blacks. As well as masterminding the financial backing, Belsidus has enlisted the best and brightest blacks to create new weapons; health systems; and technology that anticipates such inventions as the fax machine and hydroponic farming. To lighten the story, beautiful Pat Givens, ace aviator and loyal Belsidus follower, falls in love with Slater, and the two marry once the conquest of Africa is achieved. Meanwhile, black brilliance is vindicated; the Black Empire is a success but at some cost. Europe is torn apart by war and disease, all fomented by the Internationale; dissidence within the Empire is punished with death; and euthanasia is regarded as a primary part of medical treatment. Often quite intentionally sensational in style and content, and reflecting all the limits of instant publication, but, still, a remarkable portrait of an era--and a work of considerable imaginative force.