Well I’ve been holding off on this for a while because I know how hard it is for authors of color get in publishing but I can’t hold back anymore. This has been bothering and I need to get my thoughts out. Still I recommend you read this book and form your own opinions. These are just my thoughts and opinions.
By now you’re working what book I’m going to rip a new one and unfortunately that book is Into the White by Randi White. First off this book rarely had any promote so when I stumbled across it on Goodreads and read the synopsis I was ecstatic to read something I can relate to. Like LaToya the MC, I at one point wished or hope to be white or at least lighter than what I am. Not because I was told I was ugly but it was all I saw growing up. That white was the standard for beauty. Thanks goodness I’m way beyond that phase and love my beautiful Black self.
And that my dear readers is where I have a problem with Into the White. By the end of the book I felt that LaToya didn’t really come to love her blackness. Instead she was like my experience as a white girl wasn’t that great so let me go back to being Black. For those who don’t know Into the Black is about Latoya who prays to Jesus to make her white. So when her prayers comes true, she is filled with joy and thinks her life will be so much better now that she’s blond hair and blue eyes.
Hey, Jesus?…I can’t take this anymore. This filth. This curse. This….race.
I grabbed a handful of skin…then my thigh, followed by my breast.
I’ve done everything that you ever asked of me….So if you ever loved me, please….Please, Lord, anything but black.
As a reader I thought this premise was a good idea. A way for the author to teach about the micro-aggressiveness of racism and the effects it has on Black kids. Instead we got a poorly executed book, filled with clichés and stereotypes. On top of that I found LaToya to be a bit on the immature side. Maybe I was expecting too much. Maybe I set my hopes way too high and that why I found Into the White such a disappointment. I get that this is meant to be a coming of age story. And for a girl to finally be comfortable in her skin but it just didn’t work for me. Most often than not I cringe or sigh in frustration at the depictions of Black people as well as well. For one I will say that not all Black people are ghetto and ratchet and that I skin color is not dirty or filth. The same goes with the white people. They not all racist mean girl Beckys.
Gah, I hoped this book would have been something spectacular bold and groundbreaking. That is not what I got. And although the author address that she was always and odd duck growing up it still doesn’t diminish the fact that Into the White is hurtful and portrays a harmful representation of Black. At least in my opinion. Either, you can read this book and judge for yourself.
P.S. I think the author had good intentions but it all fell flat with on real end in sigh in terms of a satisfying conclusion. It was all cut and dry with no real learn experience or lesson.
As always, thanks for stopping by <3