All the Shades of Black and White


Writing for The New Inquiry, Hannah Black explores race in Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird and the relationship of white, black, and mixed racial identities in modern western culture.

Similarly, race-authenticity does not spring up from the mere fact of certain physical features—it has to be mined from others. Mixed-race identities are fissured only in relation to the lie of integral blackness or whiteness. Still more problematically, white beauty needs its frame of black ugliness, a structural flaw that reveals its guilty origins.

And check out the Rumpus review 0f Boy, Snow, Bird here.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →