the color line

Just as the title of this memoir, Life on the Color Line The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black by Gregory Howard Williams brings up the question of what is ‘white enough’ or ‘black enough’ to distinguish who one is – I never fully understood what Williams was conveying in this book.  I’m sure that speaks to my misunderstanding of the  situation, of the particular situation of someone who is ‘in between’  – just what is Black and just what is White.

Mind you, I’m not wrestling with it, but I do want to understand it.

At one time, the portrayal of the American Indians was very negative [“Dirty Indians Not Welcome”] and of course, we know quite well the treatment and view of the Blacks/Negroes.  There were American Indian and Negro descendants who ‘passed’ when this was possible.  They ‘passed’ in order to have a better life.  Isn’t  this a sad commentary as to how we viewed race?  Is this still – in the 21st century – the view?

I am – most certainly – veering off target – about this book which I recently read.

However, after reading it, I had some questions.

Identity. Discrimination. Who are we – really?

From the book  jacket:

Gregory Howard Williams and his younger brother, Mike, grew up believing they were white and that their dark-skinned father was of Italian descent.

Gregory Howard Williams


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