George S. Schuyler was a journalist, satirist, author and editor. During the mid 1920s, Schuyler was published in The Nation, and other left wing publications. Josephine Cogdell was an actress, model and dancer and came from a wealthy, former slave-owning family. She was intrigued by new ideas and radical politics and began corresponding with Schuyler, who was a brilliant and controversial journalist at the time. When she traveled to New York to meet him, they would both write later that it was love at first sight. When they were married she proclaimed herself “colored” on the marriage certificate because of the dangers of crossing racial lines. The couple believed that intermarriage could “invigorate” both and help solve many of the United States’ social problems. George and Josephine had one child named Philippa. Their daughter became a noted child prodigy. By the time she was four she was composing classical music for piano. When she reached adolescence, she was performing in the US and overseas. During the late 1940s, and the McCarthy Era, George Schuyler moved sharply to the political right. He believed that the American black could only succeed by working in cooperation with whites, within the democratic system, toward mutual economic gain. He started contributing to the American Opinion, the journal of the John Birch Society and, in 1947, he published The Communist Conspiracy against the Negroes. Schuyler continued his career as a journalist until 1966, when he published his autobiography, Black and Conservative. The couple remained married until George’s death in 1977.
Interesting Fact: In 1967, their daughter, Philippa, had begun a career as a news journalist and traveled to Vietnam as a war correspondent. While attempting to rescue schoolchildren from a war zone, the helicopter crashed into the sea. She initially survived the crash but her inability to swim caused her to drown. She died at the age of 35. Film rights to her biography have been sold and it has been reported that she is to become the subject of a movie starring Alicia Keys.
The above photo shows Phillipa, Josephine, and George Schuyler playing dominoes, around 1945.
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George S. Schuyler Again
By Marcus Garvey
George S. Schuyler is a joke;
His brain must be like sausage pork,
Or he must be a “nutty” ass
To bray at those he cannot pass:
The man, if man he is, is crude;
His very looks is mighty rude,
Hee feeds on what his masters say,
And acts like monkey all at play.
He writes his soppy stuff each week,
The stuff of Journalistic freak:
No one should worry over him,
But pass him with a good “boof, him,”
A Negro man he claims to be,
And that puts us up on a tree:
If he should look at his old face,
He’d see the libel of his race.
1934 Marcus Garvey From the Black Man Magazine (1933-1939)
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|George Schuyler (1895-1977), born in Providence , Rhode island, enlisted with the United States Army in 1912 and worked his way to the rank of lieutenant.
After the First World war Schuyler moved to New York City where he worked as a laborer and later as a journalist on The Messenger in 1923. For awhile a member of the socialist Party, Schuyler contributed to a wide variety of radical journals including Opportunity, Crisis, and Nation.
|Schuyler eventually became associate editor of the Pittsburgh Courier. He supplied the weekly paper with a regular column and was one of its chief editorial writers. On one assignment he took the Jim Crow tour of the Southern states. books written by Schuyler include The Negro Art Hokum (1926), Slaves Today: A Story of Liberia (1930) and Black No More (1931).
During the McCarthy era Schuyler moved sharply to the right and contributed to American Opinion, the journal of the John Birch Society. In 1947 Schuyler published The Communist Conspiracy Against the Negroes. Black and Conservative (1966), his autobiography, was published in 1966. George Schuyler died in 1977.