our curse

Posted: October 29th, 2015 | No Comments »
Margo Jefferson. Photo by Michael Lionstar

Margo Jefferson. Photo by Michael Lionstar.

great interview between the writers and critics claudia rankine and margo jefferson:

CR: Much of what you describe in Negroland is really another way of saying that the body had to be “evidence” of black goodness 24/7. It’s like you and your sister were so busy fighting off stereotypes that there was no room left for authentic living or being.

MJ: It’s not that there wasn’t space for an authentic life; it’s that you never knew when that space would be invaded, taken away from you. I feared that I could be ambushed at any moment by stereotypes, by contempt, by the demands of holding up the race. I’d have had to take the stage at the most improbable, lighthearted moment and instantly perform the role of the Ideal Negro, the Exemplary Negro Girl.

So we were always shoring up—stacking up worthy deeds, the accomplishments, the glamour of black women, knowing full well that in those years, as you say, none of this had any lasting value in the eyes of white America.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.