Well, long time, no post. I guess I haven't been too motivated to write lately but I'll try to keep it up this time (no promises). I've begun to read a new book, On the Color Line: The True Story of a White Boy Who Discovered He Was Black,
written by Gregory Howard WilliamsI've read about half of this book and so far it's excellent. It tells the true story of a young boy who started the first 9 years of his life believing that his family was white. Only when hard times hit and he was forced to live with with is father's family did he learn the truth - that his dad was of mixed heritage and not Italian as he once believed. The mother of the author, Gregory Williams, was white and on his father's side, his dad's parents were black and native-american (grandmother) and white (grandfather). To try to have a better life, Williams' parents moved from Muncie, Indiana to Virginia after his dad served in the military in WWII. After the downfall of the family's businesses (caused by alcohol addiction and a host of other problems), Gregory, his father and his brother moved to Muncie, Indiana. Their mother left them, taking their two youngest siblings with her. On the bus trip to Muncie, Gregory thought he would be going to stay with his mother's parents where he had spent several summers with. On that bus trip he learned from his father that he would be going to stay with his family (father's family), and that they were black. It soon dawned on Gregory that if his father was black that meant he was black as well. Having lived his first 9 years as a white person he knew the discrimination he would face and wanted desperately for this all to be a bad dream. The majority of the book after this point tells of Gregory's struggles living in Muncie as a bi-racial person. Even though he lives a few minutes from his white grandparents (who were financially stable) whom he spent several summers with, they wouldn't have anything to do with him now that the "secret" was out. Instead, he lived for a time with his "black" grandmother who, like their father, was an alcoholic. Gregory and his brother slept on a cot next to the toilet in the bathroom, often going hungry as their grandmother would rather drink than eat. Williams' story also tells about how he faced discrimination not only from the white people in Muncie, but the black people as well. Everyone in town knew his father (he was one of the first kids from Muncie to graduate from Howard University), so there would be no passing for white. The black kids teased and tried to bully him and his brother because they definitely appeared to be white and the white kids teased and bullied them because they were black. Part of the reason I'm finding this book to be such an excellent read is that I'm also a "bi-racial". I can relate to the problems he had growing up "in the middle", and always having to prove his "blackness". Hopefully the second half of the book is as enjoyable as the first as I believe that this book is a must read. It tells the story of racism in America from a different perspective, showing the hate that both white and black people can have within them. I will give a final synopsis in a couple of days once I finish this book.