What We Lose Characters

Clemmons, Zinzi
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Thandi

The protagonist of the novel, Thandi is the daughter of an African-American academic and a South African mother. Her mother is a "coloured," a light-skinned black person from South Africa, and Thandi has light skin as a result. This factors into a struggle with identity throughout her life, as Thandi never feels as if she belongs in America as a black person, her light skin a constant reminder that she is an outsider. She cannot identify as an African-American, despite technically being so, because people do not consider someone like her to be black, and her white friends from high school remind her of that. Her foil is Aminah, someone who is African-American and is secure in her identity. Thandi spends most of her friendship with Aminah trying to live up to her friend's accomplishments in life, knowing full well that her place in society is not as...

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This section contains 1,553 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the What We Lose Study Guide
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