“Me and Toni Morrison: On the Same Page About Skin Color Politics”

by Ms. Meltingpot

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

Have any of you read Toni Morrison’s new novel, God Help the Child? Not only have I read it, I had the chance to see Ms. Toni give a reading from the book here in Philadelphia and of course got her to sign my book. It was magical getting to meet her in person and to hear about her inspiration and ideas for writing this particular story.

Dear readers, I don’t know if you know this, but God Help the Child is all about a dark-skinned Black woman, Bride, who was rejected by her light-skinned mother and how that rejection informed the painful trajectory of her entire life.

The book begins:

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened. It didn’t take more than an hour after they pulled her out from between my legs to realize something was wrong. Really wrong. She was so black she scared me.”
That could be the opening to my new book too, Same Family, Different Colors, only it wouldn’t be from the mouth of a fictional character, but rather a confessional from a real woman. Bride’s story may be a creation of Toni Morrison’s imagination, but sadly, mothers reject their children every day, even in the year 2015, because they’re too dark or too light. Depends on the circumstances. And, it’s not just Black people who exhibit these skin color prejudices. The stories I’m collecting from Latino and Asian-American subjects include the same experiences, with the same language of rejection and despair.

 

Continue reading…

 

Source: myamericanmeltingpot.com

Toni Morrison to Colbert: ‘There’s No Such Thing As Race’ – COLORLINES

The Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning author broke it down.

Source: colorlines.com

 

The audience was dead silent when she said there is no such thing as race.

I bet there were confused as hell.

‘Cause they and we all know racism is real, and how can racism be real without race?

I think when we oversimplify ‘race as a social construct’ – only – then we confuse the hell out of people.

 

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Disambiguation and the answer to why all this talk about race

Ice, water, and steam are all forms of water. Race also needs to be understood in different ways and through different lenses.

 

The  lens of society

 

Society racializes us. A race label is applied to us regardless of our true ethnic heritage.

 

The lens of sociology

 

Race is the label that the census and school applications require of us to self identify  in order to track discrimination, a requirement since the 1964 civil rights. Race (phenotype) is based on our outward appearance, whereas race (haplotype) takes into account our whole physical identity – inside and out.

 

The lens of medical science

Most anthropologists describe race (phenotype) as a social construct, often used to discriminate and segregate. Whereas most medical scientists, who are curing diseases, will describe race (haplotype) as real. Medical institutions collect data on self identified race (phenotype). As dangerous as the slippery slope of race-base medicine is, there has been success in finding bone marrow donors through race based donation drives for groups who find it challenging to find a bone marrow match for example.

 

The lens of hate

 

Humans are tribal by nature. Wired into us is a fear of the new that we do not understand and therefor a fear of the other. The word for this is xenophobia. Having unchecked fear and living in a society that normalizes the doctrine of white supremacy leads to the normalization of racism.

 

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PS – I read The Bluest Eye. It’s good.