Hard Pass

Added on by Rivers.

Margo, honey, Linda, listen, what was going on here?

I've never been this angry while reading a book. It was such a chore to read and follow ... I could barely wait to finish it, just to get it over and done with, which lowkey sucks because I was really excited about reading this.

It's (supposed to be) an autobiography of sorts, but one that (primarily) explores and examines how class and race intersect in "Negroland" (a name the author gives to the unique  social/economic/cultural space that American (upper) middle class black people exist in, occupy and move around in).

That's pretty much a non-fiction recipe that can't go wrong for me: black women critically examining how race intersects with gender, class, history etc, and how that shapes and impacts black/brown women's lives and how they navigate it ... but Margo said, "Not today". It was frenetic and disjointed and abrupt and nothing fit. It felt like an awkward hug. Where more time is spent trying to figure out who's arms go where, and apologizing for not knowing how people fit into each other.

For the few times that we connected though, I managed to highlight a few lines:

I hate it when I'm having fun and race singles me out for special chores and duties.

In Negroland, we thought of ourselves as the third race, poised between the masses of Negroes and all classes of caucasians.

White people wanted to be white just as much as we did. They worked just as hard at it. They failed just as often. The failed more often. But they could pass, so no one objected.

They've wanted a more socially stable neighborhood. They're touchy, though, about seeming too eager to live among white people, as if that were a good in itself.

The fashion and beauty complex has so many ways to enchant and maim.

I crave the gift of recreational shallowness. The trick of knowing when to be cleverly trivial, lightweight; when to avoid emotional excess.