Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write about Race

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Candid, poignant, provocative, and informative, the essays and stories in Skin Deep explore a wide spectrum of racial issues between black and white women, from self-identity and competition to childrearing and friendship. Eudora Welty contributes a bittersweet story of a one-hundred-year-old black woman whose spirit is as determined and strong as anything in nature. Bestselling author Naomi Wolf recalls her first exposure to racism growing up, examining the subtle forms it can take even among well-meaning ...
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Overview

Candid, poignant, provocative, and informative, the essays and stories in Skin Deep explore a wide spectrum of racial issues between black and white women, from self-identity and competition to childrearing and friendship. Eudora Welty contributes a bittersweet story of a one-hundred-year-old black woman whose spirit is as determined and strong as anything in nature. Bestselling author Naomi Wolf recalls her first exposure to racism growing up, examining the subtle forms it can take even among well-meaning people; bell hooks writes about the intersection between black women and feminist politics; and Joyce Carol Oates includes a one-act play in which racial stereotypes are reversed. Among the other writers featured in the collection are Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Susan Straight, Mary Morris, and Beverly Lowry. A groundbreaking anthology that reveals surprising insights and hidden truths to a subject too often clouded by misperceptions and easy assumptions, Skin Deep is a major contribution to understanding our culture.

"Captures the sound, the shape and the boundaries of contemporary relationships between Black and White women."—Essence magazine

"Eloquent, challenging and sometimes unsettling."—Minneapolis Star Tribune

These 20 pieces by celebrated writers such as Toni Morrison, Naomi Wolf, Alice Walker, bell hooks, and Joyce Carol Oates cover the wide spectrum of the female experience as it relates to race, focusing on matters of identity, child-rearing, friendships, and the unity and competition between black and white women's struggle for equality.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Featuring writers ranging from Joyce Carol Oates to Alice Walker, this collection draws on both fiction and nonfiction to explore racial issues between black and white women. (Aug.)
Mary Carroll
Girlfriend, you "don't" want to miss the pungent, probing questions and answers in this fascinating, timely volume. Four of "Skin Deep"'s 20 pieces have previously appeared elsewhere: Eudora Welty's "A Worn Path," Alice Walker's "The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff," Toni Morrison's "Recitatif," and Joyce Carol Oates' "Negative." Like these more famous writers, the authors of the collection's "new" material--Lisa Page, Naomi Wolff, Retha Powers, Beverly Lowry, Patricia Browning Griffith, Mary Morris, Jewelle Gomez, Ann Filemyr, Susan Straight, Catherine Clinton, Dorothy Gilliam, bell hooks, social workers Cathleen Gray and Shirley Bryant, and both editors--are brave, disconcerting, moving, funny, and challenging as they struggle to gaze squarely at the ways American women have penetrated--and failed to penetrate--the multifarious barriers of race. This is scary territory: a landscape littered with betrayals and failures of understanding, but illuminated by precious victories and by the editors' hope that we can "both see and see beyond race," that if we "address our differences . . . [now], the issue of race in our children's generation will be, in fact, skin deep."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780788151866
  • Publisher: DIANE Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 2/1/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 309

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Introduction 7
High Yellow White Trash 13
whitegirls 24
The Racism of Well-Meaning White People 37
Overhand and Underhand 47
Negative 60
Recitatif 87
What Tina Has to Do with It 111
Legacies and Ghosts 118
Adjustments 128
Prudential Life Insurance 138
Across the Glittering Sea 148
Loving Across the Boundary 162
The Revenge of Hannah Kemhuff 189
Tulsa, 1921 208
A Worn Path 227
Contents Under Pressure: White Woman/Black History 238
Reaching Across the Feminist Racial Divide 256
Feminism in Black and White 265
Hello, Stranger 278
"Are We So Different?": A Dialogue Between an African-American and A White Social Worker 287
Contributors 305
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