Don't Play in the Sun: One Woman's Journey Through the Color Complex

Don't Play in the Sun: One Woman's Journey Through the Color Complex

by Marita Golden
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Hardcover(First Edition)

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Don't Play in the Sun: One Woman's Journey Through the Color Complex by Marita Golden

To be sure, this is book is not a pity party–but rather a nuanced look at identity, and the irrepressible and graceful will of the human spirit. Peppered with "Postcards from the Color Complex," reminiscences of some of the author's most powerful experiences, Golden takes us inside her world, and inside her heart to show what a half-century of intraracial and interracial personal politics looks like. We come to see the world through the eyes of the young Marita, and the dualism that existed in her own home. The ebony-hued father who cherished her and taught her to be "black and proud," and the lighter-skinned mother who one summer afternoon admonished Marita while she was outside, "Come on in the house, it's too hot to be playing out here. I've told you don't go playing in the sun, 'cause as it is, you gonna have to get a light-skinned husband for the sake of your children."

At every turn in her life, in high school, her black power college days, as a young married woman in Africa, as a college professor, as an accomplished author and even today, race and color are the inescapable veils through which Golden is viewed.

In her most daring book to date, esteemed author Marita Golden has the courage to take on a topic others only talk about behind closed doors.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385507868
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/20/2004
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 195
Product dimensions: 5.26(w) x 7.77(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

MARITA GOLDEN has written both fiction and nonfiction, including Migrations of the Heart, The Edge of Heaven, A Miracle Every Day, and Saving Our Sons. She is the editor of Wild Women Don't Wear No Blues: Black Women Writers on Love, Men and Sex and the coeditor of Gumbo: An Anthology of African American Writing and of Skin Deep: Black Women and White Women Write About Race. She is the founder and CEO of the Hurston/Wright Foundation, which supports African American writers, and lives in Maryland.

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Don't Play in the Sun: One Woman's Journey Through the Color Complex 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a person of color this is the book for you. It makes you realize that there are little nuances throughout your life where color was an issue. Talks about all shades of color not just one and shows how each has impacted our lives. One of the best books I have read in a long time. A fast and interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A large, hallowed out log is the elders den. It is surprisingly warm and comfortable, with lots of room for nests.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The color complex has been a problem with African-Americans since the days of slavery, where the some of the lighter sons and daughters of slave owners were given preferential treatment over darker ones. In Marita Golden¿s (Migrations of the Heart) new memoir, ¿Don¿t Play in the Sun,¿ she examines the intricacies of what it means to have grown up a dark-skinned African-American woman where women of lighter complexion were favored.................................... The book commences with snippets of Golden¿s experiences dealing with color including the recollection of mother¿s stark warnings not to play in the sun or else she will have to get a light-skinned husband for the sake of her children. The statement causes the young Golden to question her beauty and self-worth based on skin tone and hair texture throughout her entire life. Witnessing intra-racial preference influences her decision not to American University instead of Howard because of the favoritism shown towards lighter-skinned Blacks at the all-Black school and influences how she views the portrayal of dark-skinned women on television. The author also reminds the reader that light-skinned women are subjected to discrimination as well, particularly objectification and sexism......................... Golden recalls her world travels in Nigeria where many women surprisingly use skin-lightening creams to attract men, Cuba, where darker-skinned denizens hold menial jobs as maids, doormen, and even prostitutes while their lighter-skinned neighbors hold more visible, success-oriented positions, and Belgium, where her romance with a European man was, for the most part, socially accepted......................................... The book not only serves as an intriguing memoir but also a critique on popular culture, social norms, and political practices throughout the world. Golden offers her opinion on the popular Hip-Hop videos, the Grammy awards, the works of Zora Neale Hurston, and much more. People of all colors and gender should be able to find something enlightening and didactic about ¿Don¿t Play in the Sun.¿ Golden has penned a wonderful, succinct, page-turner that examines the complex relationship between lighter skinned and darker skinned people. One can only hope that the reader will take Golden¿s life lessons to heart and grow from them...........................
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In D.C.(black majority)the brown skin author's brown skin mother tells her don't play in the sun you'll be dark.If her mother was so concerned about her kid getting dark her mother wouldn't've had a kid with a dark skin man.My brown skin sister in Camden,NJ(near Philadelphia(black majority,ninth-poorest US city)tells her dark skin son don't play in the sun you'll get black,yet she refuses to date light skin black men.The book doesn't mention there's a lot of reverse colorism in Washington,DC many blacks opposed former mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon because she is a light skin black.The book doesn't mention John H Johnson founder and publisher of Ebony and Jet magazines is dark skin and he attended DuSable in Chicago(blacks are the majority in Chicago)and University of Chicago.In the 1950s he put mostly light skin young women on the covers of these magazines.In Philly many brown skin blacks and young adult dark skin blacks don't date light skin blacks and the brown skin blacks are more likely to date light skin blacks than dark skin blacks.I'm a light skin black.There are few light skin black and dark skin young adult or brown skin couples in Philly.In zipcodes in Philly that have lecherous sex offenders many black men won't date a light skin black woman.I had also lived in cities that weren't like this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have always observed that White men would pass by women of my skin color and would reach out to much darker skinned Black women. Thus, I can't unerstand why the author thinks that lighter skinned black women are the preferred women of choice to White men. Typically, lighter skinned women are the ones of preference in the eyes of Black men. The dark skinned women tend to have more favor in the eyes of White men. Overall, no one is seen as the prefered beauty in the eyes of everybody.