The section I most identified with was under the subheading:Motherwork and Identity. In the Black community, as well as other non-white cultures, the notion of ‘passing’ is a prevalent theme. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon in my family and amongst my close friends. A cousin of mine(fair in complexion) insists he’s white. Even if he’s old enough to understand the concept of race, he’s not hearing it . One of my close female friends(she’s from a blended family of Black and Indian) was ridiculed as a child for her darker skin. Some of her female relatives refused to date/marry ‘pure’ Black men, for fear of producing children with dark skin and kinky-coily hair. Literature also sheds light(no pun intended) on this occurrence. In Sapphire’s Push, Precious mentions, ” I would be light skinned, thereby treated right and loved by boyz. Light even more important than being skinny…Boyz overlook a lot to be wif a white girl or yellow girl…”(Sapphire 113)
But as Collins states, “since children of color can never be white, assimilation by becoming white is impossible”.(Collins 69)The bleaching of the skin to lighten its appearance and the pulling of the nose to straighten its structure can be considered attempts to assimilate into White culture, or to whiten the Black race. Interestingly enough, it’s rare, but not uncommon, for Black males to forgo part-taking in this. I believe that mothers-Black mothers in this instance are definitely more conscious of the role that “racial privilege”(Collins 68) plays in their children’s lives.
Some might argue that interracial dating for Blacks is a way of assimilating, but these same individuals are often times the ones labeling others sell-outs. Just a few weeks ago, my Pakistani friend and I were waiting for the train on 145th street. A Black girl said to her friend, “I hate to see Black women with White men.” I can’t understand why she would say such a thing, nor do I care.