I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This Themes
Racism is an issue that is front and center in the book, "I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This," by Jacqueline Woodson. The first hint that the small community of Chauncey, Ohio, has racial issues is found in a brief description of its history. Chauncey had been a mining town in prior years but the mines dried up and the miners - many of whom were poor and white - moved to Athens, Ohio, where they went to work in factories. In the mean time, Chauncey had become heavily populated with middle-class black families and when the factories shut down and white families returned to Chauncey, the stage was set for a segregated town with deep-seated resentment on both sides.
The protagonist of the story is twelve-year-old Marie, who is black. Marie's father is a college professor and her mother had inherited wealth from her family. Marie's father had marched...