Notes of a White Black Woman by Judy Scales-Trent
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While the "one-drop rule" in the United States dictates that people with any African ancestry are black, many black Americans have white skin. Notes of a White Black Woman is one woman's attempt to describe what it is like to be a "white" black woman and to live simultaneously inside and outside of both white and black communities.

Law professor Judy Scales-Trent begins by describing how our racial purity laws have operated over the past four hundred years. Then, in a series of autobiographical essays, she addresses how race and color interact in relationships between men and women, within families, and in the larger community. Scales-Trent ultimately explores the question of what we really mean by "race" in this country, once it is clear that race is not a tangible reality as reflected through color.

Scales-Trent uses autobiography both as a way to describe these issues and to develop a theory of the social construction of race. She explores how race and color intertwine through black and white families and across generations; how members of both black and white communities work to control group membership; and what happens to relations between black men and women when the layer of color is placed over the already difficult layer of race. She addresses how one can tell--and whether one can tell--who, indeed, is "black" or "white." Scales-Trent also celebrates the richness of her bicultural heritage and shows how she has revised her teaching methods to provide her law students with a multicultural education.


About Judy Scales-Trent

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Scales-Trent is a professor at the SUNY-Buffalo School of Law.
Published April 5, 2001 by Penn State University Press. 206 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A black American often mistaken for white, Scales-Trent, a law professor at the State Univ.

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As the daughter of two light-skinned blacks, law professor Judy Scales-Trent inherited genes that make her look white, an appearance that leaves her pulled between both sides but accepted by neither.

May 22 1995 | Read Full Review of Notes of a White Black Woman:...

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