It begins with TaRessa Stovall's "My People, My People," in which a successful advertising executive acquires firsthand knowledge of prejudice when her clients insist on using light- rather than dark-skinned models. Next comes Tracy Price-Thompson's award-winning story "Other People's Skin," a tale set in 1970s Louisiana, where a dark-skinned young woman must come to terms with the bigotry of her light-skinned family. "New Birth," by Desiree Cooper reveals the intense roles that money, class, and skin color play in the intra-racial relationship between Catherine, a wealthy, light-skinned lawyer, and Lettie, her dark-skinned house cleaner. Finally, Elizabeth Atkin's "Take It Off" tells the story of a biracial girl who hides her coarse, braided hair from her friends at a mixed-race university in Detroit.
Other People's Skin is the most innovative and varied anthology of sisterhood and unity to date. Each novella entertains, challenges, and, most important, offers healing to the reader -- no matter what her race, skin tone, or state of mind.
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
As black women in America, negotiating the minefields of daily life can be a daunting task. With an erosion of our core value system and a mass media that bombards us with repeated images of inferior, stereotypical black womanhood, we are often given the message that it is somehow wrong to love our sisters and our natural black selves. Thus, cultural and ethnic pride, self-edification, and a sense of a shared responsibility for our own are often elusive ideals that we must work hard to reclaim.
We all know it takes a village to raise a people, and as women of the village we must strive to cultivate an environment where our daughters thrive on a steady diet of sisterly love and mutual support. Too often black women pass judgments on one another based primarily on physical characteristics of skin tone and hair texture, when in reality we are all linked in a sisterhood of one blood, one heart, one soul.
Other People's Skin seeks to heal this rift among black women and to cleanse our sisterly souls of this polluted by-product of America's legacy of race-based slavery. The crab-in-the-barrel mentality that at one time may have been necessary for our individual survival has now become a purveyor of our collective demise.
There is safety in numbers, our sisters! It is time to gather our community resources and use our talents and efforts to correct the ills that breed dysfunction and prevent us from rising as a unified body of black womanhood and realizing our full potential.
It is our hope that each story in this first volume of our Sister-to-Sister Empowerment Series will bless you with a healthy dose of self-love and provide a healing balm for our generational scars.
We hope that through our literary efforts you are able to find a gem of solidarity in this work of fiction that is useful in your everyday life. May you wish for your sisters the same love, serenity, and prosperity you crave for yourself. May you be blessed with the utmost peace and balance, and as you travel along the roads of self-discovery with Carmella, Euleatha, Catherine, and Dahlia, may you always remember...if the hat fits you must wear it!
Tracy Price-Thompson and TaRessa Stovall
Table of Contents
Contents Editors' Note My People, My People - TaRessa Stovall Other People's Skin - Tracy Price-Thompson New Birth - Desiree Cooper Take It Off! - Elizabeth Atkins Acknowledgments About the Authors