One Book Leads to Another

by kiya@evpl on Sunday, October 18 2009, 3:23pm. Viewed 1,089 times.

I was intrigued by the story of Gregory William's life in Life on the Color Line, and decided to look for other books about folks who cross racial lines. 

In fiction, I found 3 titles:

          jacket for Nothing but the truth          cover for face relations          cover for hot sour salty sweet

Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies)     by Justina Chen Headley

          Patty Ho (yes, she's heard all the jokes about her name) is finishing up her freshman year of high school, wondering how she will get through the summer with her demanding mother. Patty's mother was a Taiwanese student when she fell in love with an American man studying in Taiwan. They married, and had two kids, moving to the United States. And then things fell apart. Patty's dad left when she was two, and she is finding it hard to live up to her mother's expectations. Math camp at Stanford wasn't her first choice, but when she realizes it will get her 900 miles away from her mom, she thinks it may work out after all.  And it does, though not the way she had imagined.

Face Relations:  11 stories about seeing beyond color    edited by Marilyn Singer

          Eleven stories by well-known authors, all about exploring the possibility of tearing down the walls between us.  Some funny, some sad, but all are hopeful.

Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet     by Sherri L. Smith

          Ana Shen is about to graduate from eighth grade, which would be a good thing if it didn't mean that both sides of her family were there to celebrate.  Ana loves her parents, and her grandparents, but there is discomfort and competition between her Chinese grandparents and her African-American grandparents. Not to mention the Japanese-American parents of the guy she's crushing on. There is much to think about, as well as lots to laugh at, in this tale of Ana's graduation day.

In non-fiction, I found One drop : my father's hidden life--a story of race and family secrets, written by  Bliss Broyard after her father disclosed to her and her brother, that both his parents were mixed race, and that he had been "passing" for white most of his adult life. Bliss began her own search to understand her father, meeting relatives she had never known, visiting New Orleans, where her father was born, and coming to grips with what race does and doesn't mean to her.

Previously, I had read Shirley Taylor Haizlip's memoir: The Sweeter the Juice: a family memoir in black and white and Loving Across the Color Line: a white adoptive mother learns about race by Sharon E. Rush.

                    jacket of the sweeter the juice          jacket of loving across the color line

What have you read on the subject?  Anything you recommend?


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on Tuesday, October 20 2009, 1:01pm

Jacket Off-color Cover: Caucasia  Cover: The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man

Excellent post!

I've read Off-color and Caucasia two great titles. I also recommend The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man.

Off-color by Janet McDonald

Fifteen-year-old Cameron living with her single mother in Brooklyn finds her search for identity further challenged when she discovers that she is the product of a biracial relationship. Off-color is a quick read with a interesting twist, one that forces Cameron to adapt to her new situation.

Caucasia by Danzy Senna

Two sisters, the daughters of a racially-mixed marriage, become separated when their parents' marriage fails and attempt to find each other despite the racial tensions of the 1970s. One sister goes with her African-American father. The other sister passes for a Jewish girl while on the run with her paranoid mother.

The Autobiography of an Ex-Coloured Man by James Weldon Johnson

A man whose light skin enables him to "pass" for white describes his journey through the strata of black society at the turn of the century.

Try out these titles also.