The letter to Julia from Gregory Williams

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During the time that I wrote "Life on the Color Line", race was viewed quite differently than it would be decades later. Your essays, "What Color is Jesus" and "A White Woman of Color", show that some positive changes regarding race and racism have taken place, while also pointing to the fact that much has regrettably stayed the same.


Sadly, you too, Julia, experienced the same thing when you came to the United States from the Dominican Republic. Your race and your economic status changed once your family stepped foot in New York. Where once you were members of a privileged class who employed servants and enjoyed a good life you then became a racial outsider dependent on other's perceptions. In your younger years, you found it was easier to be considered white than to be defined as some sort of racial anomaly and your family encouraged this with their ideals of beauty being defined by light-colored skin and blonde hair. Even when you were applying for jobs after graduation from college, it was not your educational background that was noted but your ethnicity. James also went through the pain of realizing he was "different" due to his mixed-race parents and found that while he had a hard time defining his own color, others were not so particular. ...
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