Sample text for The house you pass on the way / Jacqueline Woodson.
Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog
Copyrighted sample text provided by the publisher and used with permission. May be incomplete or contain other coding.
An Excerpt from The House You Pass on the Way
Her father had married a white woman. That's how Sweet Gum people had
talked about it, talked about her mother. Not to their faces, but it got
back to them. The whole family did well at hiding the sting of townspeople's
words. It was not what they whispered that stung. But how they
whispered. Yes, Mama was white and that made all of them--Charlie Horse
and Dotti and Battle, Hope and Staggerlee--part white. The only mixed-race
family in Sweet Gum, maybe in all of Calmuth County. No, it wasn't
what people said, for that part was true. But Mama was more than
ìwhite.î She was Mama, quiet and easygoing. She kept to herself. When
she smiled, her whole face brightened, and tiny dimples showed at the
edge of her lips. Why was white the word that hung on people's
lips? At school, when the kids talked about her mama, they whispered the
word or said, "You're mama's white!" and it sounded loud and
ugly, like something was wrong with Mama. And if something was wrong with
Mama, then that meant that something was wrong with all of them. . . .
And when people asked her what it felt like to be both black and white,
she didn't have an answer for them. Most times, she just shrugged and
looked away or kicked her hiking boot across the ground and mumbled something
like "fine." Her family had never talked about it, the way they hadn't
talked about a lot of things lately.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Cousins Fiction, Racially mixed people Fiction, Interracial marriage Fiction, African Americans Fiction, Lesbians Fiction, Homosexuality Fiction