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Caucasia by Danzy Senna: some unknown details

Written by Danzy Senna in 1998, Caucasia appears to be an American novel. That’s the coming-of-age story, illustrating lives of Cole and Birdie, multiracial sisters, having a white mom and a black father. Caucasia is set during the turbulent mid-1970s, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Much of this novel centers around the controversial theme of racial passing. Senna seems to have upended the traditional tragic mulatto storyline by simply exploring Birdie's sincere desire to be accepted as black, though she’s white. The writer offers a non-singular concept of being white. In fact, there’re a lot of shades of white, which Birdie’s visible mixed ethnicity seems to enable her to pass as:, French, Puerto Rican, Pakistani, Greek, Italian, Jewish or Cape Verdean.

Aside from that Senna explores themes of disappearing and invincibility. Birdie happens to be multiracial, so she feels invisible to her dad, who seems to prefer her darker and older sister. Senna disappears with her mom, whose paranoia regarding being followed by the FBI makes her construct new Jewish identities for them.

Across the novel, Birdie seeks to realize who she is and how her personality fits into the world. Growing up on the run and being fearful that her true identity could endanger her mom’s life, Birdie does her best to learn her authentic self. Birdie longs for her sister Cole as well as their dad, running away from home to find these people.

Background and historical context

As we’ve just mentioned above, the novel is set in 1975, Boston. A series of violent protests disrupted the city because forced desegregation was employed in the public schools. Boston busing desegregation drove racial tensions, thus generating beatings, riots as well as violence which persisted for a long period of time.

As Birdie tells us, her parents met in January 1963 exactly during the Kennedy administration. So, they got married and in 1964 they gave birth to her first daughter, Cole. 1967 is Birdie’s year of birth. At that time there were many anti-miscegenation laws across the United States.

At that time the strategy for social change via peaceful protests associated with the Civil Rights movement were heavily challenged by new black leaders.

Violence was employed as a universal form of protest by such groups as Weather Underground, reportedly good at mail bombs as well as bank robberies. Here we can also mention the Symbionese Liberation Army. In 1974, that organization kidnapped heiress Patty Hearst.

Written by Danzy Senna in 1998, Caucasia appears to be an American novel. That’s the coming-of-age story, illustrating lives of Cole and Birdie, multiracial sisters, having a white mom and a black father. Caucasia is set during the turbulent mid-1970s, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Much of this novel centers around the controversial theme of racial passing.

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Assignment ID
100002560
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CREATED ON
October 20, 2016
COMPLETED ON
October 21, 2016
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$37
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Essay Example Comments
salman.j.qahtani87
March 22, 2017
salman.j.qahtani87
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sardayah665
March 19, 2017
sardayah665
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remyzaher22
March 14, 2017
remyzaher22
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