Black No More

An Attitude Adjustment: Black No More and Internal Change College

In Black No More, by George Schuyler, the main character, Max Disher, experiences a scientific procedure that changes his skin from black to white. Originally very proud of his African-American descent, he finds himself transitioning from wishing he were white, to being thankful that he is white, to truly feeling powerful over blacks because he is white. Herbert C. Kelman contextualizes one of the ways to view the surprising changes in attitude during 1930s United States, particularly in Black No More, by proposing that opinion change is a process of compliance, identification, and internalization.

Kelman discusses this process of attitude change in his article “Compliance, Identification, and Internalization: Three Processes of Attitude Change”, featured in the Journal of Conflict Resolution in 1958. A professor of social ethics at Harvard University, Kelman is known for meeting with opposing politicians to convince both sides to converge on important issues. He is very knowledgeable about the process of social influence, and this expertise is evident in his article. His ideas are significant because they provide a model as to why Max, other characters in Black No More, and many people during the era of racial segregation in...

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