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The Black Girl Next Door by Jennifer Baszile - Term Paper Example

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Jennifer Baszile’s memoir, “The Black Girl Next Door,” is something special. It doesn’t take up the hard political controversies, tough realities of race relations, political struggles of the vested interests, mutual cruelties inflicted by the marauding racial groups, hard musings about race and gender. …
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The Black Girl Next Door by Jennifer Baszile
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Download file to see previous pages Walking in another’s shoes :a memoir by Jennifer Baszile

Baszile builds up an interesting storyline, not through big events and famous individuals, but through, small but sensitive events and ordinary characters, that are part of the American racial history, without their being actively aware of it. This makes the story interesting. The plot and the author’s handling of the plot, evoke curiosity. The level of detachment seen in the story is exceptional. Without being sentimental, and without giving room for any racial hatred in the most provoking circumstances, a situation builds up, grows and attains new dimensions. The mutual interaction of the characters, reveal in the lucid style, the convictions of the author. This is the greatness of the novel. As the story develops, it becomes poignant, without losing its ground and reality. The author builds up the story composing one incident upon another, as comprehended through the eyes of a girl—perceiving but not realizing its real significance. How a small event like Jennifer winning a footrace and how the classmates and the teacher make a racial issue out of it; the story ably depicts the father’s plight for his daughter’s rights and how he challenges the problems in the new racial landscape. In the changed circumstances and status gained, he is not willing to reveal his past identity notwithstanding repeated questioning about it by the daughter. Baszile writes about his attitude thus: “For as long as I could remember, Dad had always described himself as a “country boy.” Whenever I asked him about his boyhood or what being a country boy meant, he’d sing, perform actually, the chorus of a song he’d learned when he was a boy….He sang about simple food and hard work….The song was never an answer. It was always an evasion.(p.40) How problematic it is to find the balance between the world of black middle class, to that of white middle-class, known for its rigidity, artificiality and social snobbery. The story ends with Jennifer succeeding to establish her distinct identity. I am going to present three aspects of race relations-- history, social status factors and family life process and comment upon the present situation of race relations in USA. My childhood pal and a distinct relative, is totally americanized, having been there for well over 40 years. She has acquired the citizenship of US, and is in touch with me and treats me like her brother. We both take deep interest in literature, current affairs, racial and ethnic issues, and exchange mails often on the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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