On April 10 – 11, 2015, Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI) Resident Fellow Dr. Mary Grabar presented her paper, “The Diversity Hokum: The ‘Disappearing’ of George S. Schuyler,” at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. This biennial Culture and Policy Conference was put on by the Center for Political and Economic Thought, in cooperation with the Alex G. McKenna School of Business, Economics, and Government.
Grabar joined eight distinguished scholars from the fields of law, political science, history, and public policy, to discuss the demands for conformity in American law and social practice.
Her paper addressed the subject of her research at the AHI, George S. Schuyler, the prominent African-American journalist and novelist (1895-1977) who fought conformity, censorship, and the communist threat during his 50-plus-year career as an editor and columnist at the Pittsburgh Courier, and as writer, speaker, and radio host and debater at numerous other prominent venues. Grabar’s paper also addressed Schuyler’s principled stand against communist-led cultural and political separatism, his fight for truthful reporting and freedom of expression at his newspaper, and his “disappearance,” Soviet-style, by academic gatekeepers in African-American studies departments.
“This was the first time I have spoken publicly about the subject of my research, the staunch defender of freedom, George Schuyler. He stood up for principle, in spite of the consequences in terms of loss of employment and personal danger,” said Grabar. “I was delighted to present this important figure in American letters and history to my colleagues, as well as to students and community members attending the conference. The two days of discussion and social activities were wonderful opportunities to get to know accomplished scholars in other fields who are concerned about the loss of freedom in thought and expression—even as demands for more ‘diversity’ are being made.”