Make sure you check out this very powerful essay by Thomas Chatterton Williams called “Black and Blue and Blond” published in the most recent Virginia Quarterly Review. Williams writes about his reconsideration of what racial identity means in light of the birth of his daughter. He writes: “What exactly remains of the American Negro in my daughter? . . . Is it possible to have black consciousness in a body that does not in any way look black?”
Williams is also the author of a great memoir called Losing My Cool. Check it out!
Despite my mother’s being white, we were a black and not an interracial family. Both of my parents stressed this distinction and the result was that, growing up, race was not so complicated an issue in our household . . . black, they explained, is less a biological category than a social one. It is a condition of the mind that is loosely linked to certain physical features, but more than anything it is a culture, a challenge, and a discipline.”-Thomas Chatterton Williams