Caucasia: Part I Notes
“Before I ever saw myself, I saw my sister” (1).
Significance: Birdie sees herself in her sister and thinks of herself and Cole as the same person. She doesn’t notice the physical differences between them because she hasn’t experience racism yet. 2)
“My grandmother said we must have spent too much time around those ‘backwards children’ and that was why we spoke in tongues” (6). Significance: Birdie and Cole have invented their own language that only they can understand. This represents the bond they have, and how they are the only ones who will ever truly understand each other. 3)
“‘Who’s that?’ ‘She’s a Rican or something?’ ‘I thought this was supposed to be a black school’” (43). Significance: The kids at school discriminate against Birdie because she is mixed and looks very white. She isn’t accepted because she isn’t fully black. Birdie feels she doesn’t fit in anywhere. 4)
“’Alright brotherman,’ the younger one said to my father with a smirk. ‘Who’s the little girl?’…’She’s my daughter. Is there a problem?’…the cops didn’t believe my father”(60). Significance: The cops didn’t believe that Birdie and her father are related because they have different skin tones, so they automatically assume the worst. Even though the cops were told otherwise, they didn’t believe Birdie. This has a big affect on Birdie because she is taught by society that she and her father do not belong together. 5)
“I stood many nights in front of the bathroom mirror, practicing how to say ‘nigger’ the way the kids in school did, dropping the ‘er’ so that it became not a slur, but a term of endearment, ‘nigga’”(63). Significance: Birdie really wants to fit in, so she is attempting to make herself seem “blacker” than she really is. This doesn’t come natural to her because of the way she was raised, but she is doing it all to fit in at school. 6)
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