Why You'll Like It: High Society. Chicago.
My dad is a year older than Margo and my mom is a couple years younger. I have an interesting bond with this book and feel as if I'm in a time-warp. It's weird that my parents were young adults when all this was going on and then her aftermath---her discussion of how Negroland disintegrated and then to come after that is strangely fascinating. My brother and I speak at lengths about our generation divide with our parents. These books help me understand and put together a look into where my parents were coming from.
Jefferson reminisces about denouncing our race failures:
Those were conversations held at family dinner parties as I grew up. I remember the arguments of my older cousins and "us" children watching the social issues just fly across the room. The older/young views clashing. I remember later, my parents talking to us and having us read books to know that people will assume so much against us. That we must NEVER be embarrassed about whatever failings that “others” might assume we have.
Margo (we are best friends in my head) reminisces about white flight. My parents speak plainly about being allowed to finally moved into a middle class neighborhood on the South Side. A booming reputable neighborhood in Chicago and within a few years, not a white soul to be seen.
THAT IS MY LIFE. I remember crying after all the church kids accused me of being too white and being in a white school with the white kids pointing out my “black-ness.” My mom and dad had that EXACT conversation----LAWD Jesus the feels.
My humor in life helps me cope. I'm always afraid. I don't think I'll ever get rid of that fear of acting in angry or abrasively without feeling as if someone would label all types of terrible slurs. I just felt her memoir read in haphazard style, which is how I think. When she talks about our rich deep history that we have to go back (than what is taught us in school) in order to reach some understanding about our identity. I would say that my parents did follow James Weldon Johnson’s writings,
I'm omitting parts: READ THE BOOK!
I swear, reading this book was a half therapy session for me. My parents didn’t sugar coat-hide-any-type-of-the-world’s-ridiculous-ways, in regards, to racism. (SEX IS ANOTHER STORY: SIDE EYE PARENTS).
It's an imaginary side-eye--cuz if they found out---I'm denying it. :D
Anyway, my father didn’t mince his words about his past hatred of white people, his reform through Jesus, and trying to put us on a spiritual path of forgiving our white brethren when they offend us. I was always coming back from private Christian school with stories and my parents are going, “pray for them---it’s just stemming from the attitudes of their parents” YET! Johnson's prediction about the results any courses of actions that parents choose---still holds true to this day.
My sibling and I made different life choices and I duly believe the odds are 50/50. Race & psyche are such a powerful weapon. Margo even touches on the deaths of the boys/girls of Negroland. That was a powerhouse. It holds such truth and power. I would add my own critiques, but I do not think I'm ready for that just yet.
Margo’s parting monologue is the BEST REBUTTAL TO RACE I’ve read in a long time. I honestly want to do a monologue of that scene. It's found on page 183. I’m actually going to memorize that and probably recite it at a future party. I swear to GAWD the next time someone asks me something stupid about race. BAM! Here cometh the Parting Monologue.