Heads of Colored People Quotes

Nafissa Thompson-Spires
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It had long irked Riley that his blackness or the degree of his loyalty to the cause should be suspect because he wore blue contacts and bleached his hair blond and because, on top of all that, his name was also Riley, and not, say, Tyreke. It irked him that he might be mistaken for a self-hating Uncle Tom because he enjoyed cosplay and anime and comic book conventions…
-- Narration   (“Heads of the Colored People …”)

Importance: This quote sums up the central experience and perspective of Riley, the central character in this story. Essentially, the quote refers to Riley's resentment of being seen as "less black" because there are aspects to his personality and identity that are perceived by black people as being "more white" - in short, that they perceive him as betraying their ethno-cultural community. The reference to "Uncle Tom" is to a character in "Uncle Tom's Cabin", a novel which was originally perceived as...

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This section contains 2,230 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Heads of Colored People Study Guide
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