Beyond the Whiteness of Whiteness: Memoir of a White Mother of Black Sons
Jane Lazarre is the author of many books, including the memoirs Wet Earth and Dreams: A Narrative of Grief and Recovery and The Mother Knot, both also published by Duke University Press, and the novels Inheritance and Some Place Quite Unknown. She founded and directed the undergraduate writing program at Eugene Lang College at the New School for ten years and taught creative writing and literature there for twenty years. She has also taught at the City College of New York and Yale University.
Reunions, Retellings, Refrains
In chapter 4 the extended family attends two large reunions held in North Carolina, one of which is also the occasion of scattering into the ocean the ashes of a beloved brother-in-law, brother to the writer’s husband, a man who was a lifelong activist for both racial justice and gay rights and who died of AIDS. A partial history of the family is told as they ride through the small city of Kinston, North Carolina, where the writer’s husband and his siblings were raised in the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s. Racial identities and skin color ambiguities and hierarchies are explored,...