The Fire This Time - Part 2, “Blacker Than Thou” Summary & Analysis

Jesmyn Ward
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Summary

Kevin Young’s “Blacker Than Thou” starts with a quote from Steve Martin, “It was never easy for me. I was born a poor black child…” (101). Steve Martin used this line as a joke in one of his shows to conjure up images of tragedy and imply a transformation—from blackness to whiteness—that allowed him to be successful. Martin’s use of blackness as a call for attention reminded the author of Rachel Dolezal.

Young reminds readers that white people have applied blackface, redface, and other masks of people of color for decades. The adoption of blackface reduces blackness to skin color. The implicit message the person in blackface sends is that black people are just mis-colored white people.

Kevin Young writes about imposters, plagiarists, and hoaxers. Once he finished his book, he turned his attention to Rachel Dolezal. Dolezal...

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This section contains 2,101 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fire This Time Study Guide
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