The Blacker the Berry

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The Blacker the Berry
In Wallace Thurman’s book The Blacker the Berry Emma Lou Morgan is a girl cursed with very black skin which she seems to blame every unfortunate event or occurrence on. Because of the dark hue of her skin combined with being a female Emma Lou Morgan believes that she cannot and will not ever get along. Her attitude and mindset leaves Emma Lou predisposed to the idea that it is impossible for her to be happy which consequently is the main reason she is not content. There is no great of obstacle that one cannot overcome with hard work and the right attitude. Emma Lou misses out on the joys of life because instead of finding happiness in spite of her blackness she uses it as a convenient excuse for why things go wrong. One might argue that for Emma Lou it is impossible to get along because she is at a cultural disadvantage due to her complexion and gender. Being that this is in the 1920s shortly after the woman’s suffrage movement and well before the civil rights movement life is hard on blacks as well as women. In conjunction with the intra-racial prejudices in the black community it is extremely hard for Emma Lou to find something worth being delighted in. She is looked down on by white men and women as well as her own black brothers and sisters. She is also always being talked about behind her back or being excluded from activities like the sororities at USC because she isn’t perceived to be as intelligent or as beautiful as some of the lighter girls. Everywhere Emma Lou goes she is already at a disadvantage due to the preconceived notions that are associated with her blackness as well as her gender. All her life she hears that if only she’d been born a boy or if she was lighter that she’d get along, because of this she doesn’t value herself and ones self esteem is a true measure of happiness. Since black people have come to America racial discrimination has been a problem. It is well known that light skinned blacks do have it considerably...
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