By Maureen T Reddy
As a "racial insider" who stands outdoor accredited marital preparations, Maureen Reddy grapples towards an knowing of "whiteness" and of racism. relocating from memoir to race idea, to literary research, to interviews with pals, a huge cultural context is explored and insights abound round the query of societal survival.
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Additional info for Crossing the color line: race, parenting, and culture
Most of my black women friends say they would not consider marrying a white man, in part because they assume they would be inviting in-law trouble. Doug and I were also lucky with our friends, although we did have some unpleasant surprises. Happily, these surprises were so few that they remain vivid in memory nearly two decades later. The most painful of these incidents happened with a white man to whom I had been very closeor so I thoughtfor five years, the last few months long-distance, as Paul had moved to New Hampshire.
Sean, at two, was just learning about race; he was becoming "raced," and was "re-racing" Doug and me in unsettling ways. And yet, this is not quite accurate, either: we were always raced, just as we were always gendered, with our races central parts of our identities. All that I had ever thought and done, I had thought and done as a white female. All that Doug had ever thought and done, he had thought and done as a black male. Neither of us grew up in a bubble, isolated from our society, and of course every intimate detail of our lives had been shaped by that society.
It was only when I stopped being white, in some sense, that I began to understand what whiteness means in America. Under South African apartheid, the white partner of a black person was reclassified as ''colored": legally, in other words, there was no such thing as a white/black marriage. Although we do not live under apartheid, a de facto reclassification happens here, too, I think: the white partner, in learning what being black in America entails, learns what whiteness means and loses or abandons at least some of that whiteness.
Crossing the color line: race, parenting, and culture by Maureen T Reddy