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Quotes

Quote #1

It might have been that my tardiness in learning to sense white people as "white" people came from the fact that many of my relatives were "white"-looking people. My grandmother, who was white as any "white" person, had never looked "white" to me. (1.1.256)

Richard doesn’t get it. If she looks white, isn’t that enough to make Granny be white? What else does she need? Maybe she didn’t get her Certified White Person card?

Quote #2

I had begun to notice that my mother became irritated when I questioned her about whites and blacks, and I could not quite understand it. (1.2.121)

It’s true that Richard is seriously annoying, but, come on. Most parents avoid "The Talk" for as long as possible—only here "The Talk" is about race, not reproduction.

Quote #3

"Granny didn’t become colored," my mother said angrily. "She was born the color she is now." Again I was being shut out of the secret, the thing, the reality I felt somewhere beneath all the words and silences.

[…]

"Why don’t you want to talk to me?" I asked. She slapped me and I cried. Later, grudgingly, she told me that Granny came of Irish, Scotch, and French stock in which Negro blood had somewhere and somehow been infused. (1.2.142)

Granny’s family is like a virtual "We Are the World." So if she’s Irish, Scotch, and French, what makes her black? The One Drop Rule?

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