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Negroland A Memoir

D of pediatrics at Provident at the time the nation’s oldest black hospital; her mother was a socialite Margo Jefferson has spent most of her life among call them what you will the colored aristocracy the colored elite the blue vein society Since the nineteenth century they have stood apart these inhabitants of Negroland “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a certain amount of pri. Stray thoughts about Negroland What if Roxanne Gay was born 30 years earlier That s what kept running through my mind as I read this book Negroland had a tethered relationship with the pop culture of half a century ago Jefferson relies upon references of the times to tell her story While I m certain a lot of what she is saying would resonate with my mother a lot descriptions and comparisons went over my headI m reminded of the story of Oprah when she went shopping abroad and a store clerk at an exclusive high end shop didn t recognize her and refused to show her a ludicrously expensive handbag Yeah it s a demonstration of obvious racism but it s kind of hard to drum up sympathy when you are casually shopping for a handbag that costs than what most people will make in 10 yearsRich Negroes are upset because they get treated like all the rest of the Negroes in spite of the fact that they are rich Their sense of entitlement has been taken from them Again hard to drum up sympathy when these people who think they are better than most Negroes are treated like the rest of the Negroes Essentially if they were treated the way they believed they should be treated they wouldn t give a hoot about Civil Rights or the plight of lesser Negroes Money is what matters NopeRich people while growing up struggle with identity issues Rich Negro people while growing up struggle with identity issues Poor people while growing up struggle with identity issuesHer discussion about her relative who passed as white until he retired then moved back to his roots and reconnectedacknowledge his Negro heritage definitely reminiscent of The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man Signifying the necessity of staying true to who you are Negroes often have to be something else in order to thrive in the working world Forced to disregard their otherness Suppression of identity when finally released comes on strong People lament an resent the fact that they had to mutedisfigure who they are character not appearanceI grew up a Negro middle class military brat Honestly our upbringing was not that different No camps or cotillions for me but my older sister was a Debutante I found a lot of similarity if not in our experiences Jefferson and myself in our environments Yes different times and my mother was a Registered Nurse rather than a Socialite but she was also an Officer s wife with all of it s associated protocols and social expectationsTo be fair Jefferson is merely recounting her life as a member of the talented tenth She is not looking for sympathy or support She is allowing us a glimpse into a lifestyle that perhaps we were not exposed to before There is a lot that is familiar to all African American women in her tale In fact there is a lot that is familiar to most women in her tale No matter where you are in class structures there are certain treatments of women that a still prevalent today Your appearance matters far than it probably should and oftentimes trumps substance andor character People will accept and reject you because you are a Negro People will accept and reject you because you are a woman People will accept and reject you because you are wealthy People will accept and reject you because you aren t wealthy enough People will accept and reject you for reasons you may never know There is an implicit unfairness to lifeThis was an interesting memoir and there is a lot to like and ponder here My one critiue is that I read very little in the book about things that Jefferson enjoyed or that made her happy Surely her whole life was not this joyless The book is an examination of a life It s not a downer but it s not uplifting either 375 Stars Kodak and the Lens of Nostalgia call them what you will the Spojrzenie na sztukę colored aristocracy the Nue colored elite the blue vein society Since the nineteenth The Clan (Play to Live century they have stood apart these inhabitants of Negroland “a small region of Negro America where residents were sheltered by a A Fools Paradise certain amount of pri. Stray thoughts about Negroland What if Roxanne Gay was born 30 years earlier That s what kept running through my mind as I read this book Negroland had a tethered relationship with the pop Lardżelka culture of half a Beauty Ravished century ago Jefferson relies upon references of the times to tell her story While I m Reviving the Broken Marionette certain a lot of what she is saying would resonate with my mother a lot descriptions and Service Book ... of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America comparisons went over my headI m reminded of the story of Oprah when she went shopping abroad and a store A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, clerk at an exclusive high end shop didn t recognize her and refused to show her a ludicrously expensive handbag Yeah it s a demonstration of obvious racism but it s kind of hard to drum up sympathy when you are Look Again casually shopping for a handbag that Alle vi børn i Bulderby. De første historier om alle vi børn i Bulderby costs than what most people will make in 10 yearsRich Negroes are upset because they get treated like all the rest of the Negroes in spite of the fact that they are rich Their sense of entitlement has been taken from them Again hard to drum up sympathy when these people who think they are better than most Negroes are treated like the rest of the Negroes Essentially if they were treated the way they believed they should be treated they wouldn t give a hoot about Civil Rights or the plight of lesser Negroes Money is what matters NopeRich people while growing up struggle with identity issues Rich Negro people while growing up struggle with identity issues Poor people while growing up struggle with identity issuesHer discussion about her relative who passed as white until he retired then moved back to his roots and reconnectedacknowledge his Negro heritage definitely reminiscent of The Autobiography of an Ex Colored Man Signifying the necessity of staying true to who you are Negroes often have to be something else in order to thrive in the working world Forced to disregard their otherness Suppression of identity when finally released Il piacere nel Medioevo comes on strong People lament an resent the fact that they had to mutedisfigure who they are Il disait qu'il m'aimait character not appearanceI grew up a Negro middle Drunk on the Moon class military brat Honestly our upbringing was not that different No Der ganze weg camps or Rich Habits Poor Habits cotillions for me but my older sister was a Debutante I found a lot of similarity if not in our experiences Jefferson and myself in our environments Yes different times and my mother was a Registered Nurse rather than a Socialite but she was also an Officer s wife with all of it s associated protocols and social expectationsTo be fair Jefferson is merely recounting her life as a member of the talented tenth She is not looking for sympathy or support She is allowing us a glimpse into a lifestyle that perhaps we were not exposed to before There is a lot that is familiar to all African American women in her tale In fact there is a lot that is familiar to most women in her tale No matter where you are in El Metal class structures there are The Ichneutae of Sophocles, with Notes and a Translation Into English, Preceded by Introductory Chapters Dealing with the Play, with Satyric Drama, an certain treatments of women that a still prevalent today Your appearance matters far than it probably should and oftentimes trumps substance andor Kana Pict-o-Graphix character People will accept and reject you because you are a Negro People will accept and reject you because you are a woman People will accept and reject you because you are wealthy People will accept and reject you because you aren t wealthy enough People will accept and reject you for reasons you may never know There is an implicit unfairness to lifeThis was an interesting memoir and there is a lot to like and ponder here My one Sienkiewicz. Żywot pisarza critiue is that I read very little in the book about things that Jefferson enjoyed or that made her happy Surely her whole life was not this joyless The book is an examination of a life It s not a downer but it s not uplifting either 375 Stars

Summary Negroland A Memoir

At once incendiary and icy mischievous and provocative celebratory and elegiac here is a deeply felt meditation on race sex and American culture through the prism of the author’s rarefied upbringing and education among a black elite concerned with distancing itself from whites and the black generality while tirelessly measuring itself against both   Born in upper crust black Chicago her father was for years hea. Negroland by Margo Jefferson is her memoir of growing up in an upperclass African American household in Chicago during the 1950s and 60s While Jefferson does discuss her upbringing she also discusses what it means for her to be African American in this country in terms of class race and gender From all these anecdotes I gleaned Jefferson s definitive take on race and for this I rate the book 4 stars Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 to Ronald and Irma Jefferson of Chicago s vibrant upper class African American community Ronald a physician and Irma a seamstress desired that their children excel in this country so they enrolled them in University of Chicago Lab School a progressive school which admitted African American students It was in a context with few role models or peers who looked like her that Jefferson learned about race relations in her city While the schools had few people of color prior to the 1964 passage of the eual rights act popular culture contained few others The select few who made it including Lena Horne Dorothy Dandridge and Sammy Davis Jr who did succeed were either cast in stereotypical black roles even when they achieved fame Along with Jackie Robinson on the ball field these Hollywood stars were looked up to by a generation of black children who were likewise not expected to succeed in society Because of the low expectations successful African Americans like the Jeffersons stayed in Negroland a separate society of upper class blacks who created a culture in which their children could achieve greatly in the United States Jefferson was fortunate that her parents taught her and her older sister Denise to be aware of prejudiced behavior On a family trip in 1956 the Jeffersons were looked down upon in an Atlantic Beach New Jersey hotel and only remained one evening Likewise if Margo had to sing a song with derogatory lyrics in school her mother explained to her why it was such and persuaded the primarily white school to change what the students were studying Not all blacks were as fortunate as the Jeffersons however and they even chose to live in upper class Hyde Park where they were surrounded by likeminded blacks and whites as opposed to a lower class African American community This shows to me that class played almost a larger role in Jefferson s upbringing as did race As the feminist movement took shape Margo explained that it was important to view things in the context of class race and gender The early feminist movement was primarily for white women so she chose whether to label herself a feminist or a black rights advocate In this regards she taught people to view race in a lens of one voice and chose which movements to align herself with A successful journalist I found Jefferson s Chicago much different than the North Side I am familiar with Other than the mention of Marshall Fields on State Street Jefferson for all purposes was describing a foreign city to me Before the eual rights act light skinned blacks could choose to pass for white in order to ensure a better future for themselves and their children Likewise successful blacks like the Jeffersons enrolled their children in white schools while still teaching them African American culture through community organizations I found Negroland to be an eye opening experience about life in the African American community in Chicago and enjoyed the prose s structure of alternating anecdotes lists and Jefferson s own story I highly recommend this one voice look in African American class race and gender to all

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Vilege and plenty”   Reckoning with the strictures and demands of Negroland at crucial historical moments the civil rights movement the dawn of feminism the fallacy of postracial America Jefferson brilliantly charts the twists and turns of a life informed by psychological and moral contradictions Aware as it is of heart wrenching despair and depression this book is a triumphant paean to the grace of perseveranc. It has taken me a while to actually write a review I ll try to be briefI am a part of the generation after hers who also grew up in the world of sorority functions debutante balls cotillions proper decorum at all times etc The author and my mother and her sisters are the same age and I would say that they look back upon this time in upper middle class Black America uite differently Grantedwe are southernTexan women so that brings a different slant to things certainly Segregation in southern states never really allowed for too many feelings of otherness They were around Black people of all socioeconomic levels all day every day By the time I came along in the late 60searly 70s the family could have moved anywhere but chose not to so that we could have that same sense of balance Our school friends were overwhelmingly white many Jewish but we came home to play in the streets with kids who looked just like us At no point were any of us allowed to flaunt our relative privilege compare skin color or even tease about such things because Black is Black is Black or any of those things that would have exhibited poor manners Of course that s not to say WE weren t teased in the neighborhood and at school but it was always drilled into our heads to be better than rise above and so forth So I didnever even realizing there may have been a choice in the matterPeople are often shocked when I reveal that I am of the fourth generation of college graduates On my maternal side most everyone starting with my great grandfather has a graduate or professional degree I consider myself fortunate to be a part of a family where education was emphasized There is no shame or embarrassment in this as it also allowed us to encourage others to do the same by example in some cases and financially in othersMy 2 stars are less about her feelings because only the author owns those but to the writing I wanted less of her angst and of the story and perhaps analysis Yes excellence was the expectation at all times and I m not sure there is salve to cover the cracks whenever they began to appeareven today But I got out of her NPR interview than I did out of the book so I went in with very high expectations I was left with uestions about her her world today friends viewpointsis she still a member of any of those organizations and how all of that fits in with her upbringing


10 thoughts on “Negroland A Memoir

  1. says:

    This is a wonderful book The author's story of the slings and arrows of outrageous racism in a country that is supposed to have overcome it's dreadful past now Obama is a two term president is interesting We hear so little from the African American middle and upper classes Many people from my island where they are kings in their own country go to the US to study or work all of them middle class none of them from ghetto

  2. says:

    Negroland by Margo Jefferson is her memoir of growing up in an upperclass African American household in Chicago during the 1950s an

  3. says:

    It was very interesting and a rare glimpse into the world of privileged African Americans It is a memoir however it reads less like a novel and like non fictionessay

  4. says:

    Stray thoughts about Negroland What if Roxanne Gay was born 30 years earlier? That's what kept running through my mind as I read this book Negroland had a tethered relationship with the pop culture of half a century ago Jefferson relies upon references of the times to tell her story While I'm certain a lot of wha

  5. says:

    Honest talk I would totally have DNFed this if I hadn't felt uncomfortable about not finishing a book on race that everybody else seems to love I just kept hoping for something I just didn't like the writing style at all as it seemed incoherent and disjointed I had a really hard time figuring out if she was uoting from old journa

  6. says:

    While evoking another era America in the 1950s and 1960s Margo Jefferson’s Negroland A Memoir is still relevant to the current social and political climate Jefferson defines privilege afforded to African American elites in this historical context How this privilege is defined against other groups even when ref

  7. says:

    There was much to absorb and ponder in Margo Jefferson’s Negroland a fascinating recollection of life growing up in the titular purgatory between two worlds centered on race class and wealth in a changing American landscape Jefferson’s parents were well to do professionals “comfortable” as her mother described it

  8. says:

    What a waste of a topic What a painful disjointed chaotic rambling I was so excited about reading Negroland I thought the

  9. says:

    It has taken me a while to actually write a review I'll try to be briefI am a part of the generation after hers who also grew up in the world of sorority functions debutante balls cotillions proper decorum at all times etc The author and my mother and her sisters are the same age and I would say that they look back upon this time i

  10. says:

    I enjoyed reading Negroland very much It left me wanting though in almost every category it touched on There are extraordinary thoughts here but they didn't cohere for me into a whole There is a pan historical thread for example that conside

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