When George S. Schuyler published his autobiography Black and Conservative in 1966, its title was intended to be paradoxical, underscoring how the two adjectives were rarely used together, particularly in an era that had recently seen the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965. When it came to political affiliation, the general assumption was that African Americans, more or less by definition, were not likely to be conservatives; rather, conservatism meant a desire to preserve the pre-existing status quo, making very little sense in Civil Rights era for a majority of African Americans to take a conservative stance.

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