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Querying Black and White

Sunshine's picture

I decided that for my final english project I will query black and white through a zine, focusing on interracial relationships. I hope through this zine I can do some healing work for my interracial relationship, which just ended, and focus on the black identity, constructed through and independent of whiteness. By including multi-media entries, I hope to give the reader a lense into what it means to be a black woman partnered to and in love with a white woman. I want to return to Beloved to lean on themes of forgiveness and impossible situations as a loose frame for the zine, though I will be sampling a lot of works as well as creating my own. 


Anne Dalke's picture

i hope it will be helpful for you to take on this project. remember that, along with the immediate work it will be doing, of helping yourself heal, you're also presenting it publicly as your final project for an english class. so the more you can draw on texts (of any form: film, poetry, music, prose) to illuminate and help make sense of the some of questions you have about interracial relationships, the better sense i'll have of how you have been thinking about what it means both to represent race, and--in the language of the course's subtitle--to "revise racial fictions."

For example, I’m remembering that in mid-November you expressed an interest in discussing religion in Americanah, which you were reading then for the second time. Might you use Ifem’s relationship with Curt--that handsome, optimistic, spontaneous white guy--as one of the touchstones in this paper? I recognize, of course, that theirs is not a queer relationship. But Ifem's pretty astute in reading the racial gap. What do you make, for example, of this passage, from her blog?

“The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie....When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads...."