Marguerite Davis Stewart's Racial Identity

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The most intriguing idea within the three texts was the line between what is white and what is black. The astonishing fact is that there is no clear cut line between black and white but rather a line than shifts through time and place. Racial ambiguity is a key feature to look at in American history because it allows the blending of the black community with the advantages that the whites enjoy into the actions of a group of people. These people do not fit into the binary code of the country and belong to their own separate group. With the freedom that is granted to these unique people, their actions and thoughts allow a distinctive outlook at the idea of race in the American culture in a time of great division. Racial identity was a key …show more content…
Within the South, the Jim Crow laws allowed for segregation between white people and those of color under the principle of “separate, but equal.” The South was firmly divided into a binary system of black and white. However, there is the problem of the Blacks who are extraordinary light-skinned that they can pass for whites. They can identify with either community and enjoy exclusive advantages that belong to both of the races. This is one of the common identities that Marguerite Davis Stewart acquires to belong both to the black community via their church and schools but still goes to the white amusement parks and theaters. Stewart passed for white in most cases however she was still black under the one-drop law of Kentucky. She could have chosen to belong to either community however she chose the third option, the one that was common to light-skinned blacks, belonging to neither community. Stewart chose to ignore race because she saw no purpose in it as she belonged to neither race. What happened was she was unconsciously joining a group of people who fit in nowhere and did not have the strong communal ties. To be a light-skinned black during this time period was admitting to not having a race to claim for one’s own. The benefits from this allow a much more open view on what it was to be different from the norm to current day struggles. The isolation that occurs when a black is too light to be black but too black to be white, allows for a unique third racial identity to occur where neither side claims the child. This existence breaks the traditional binary system of the south and allows for the confusion on who is black and who is white during this time

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