Quicksand's heroine Helga Crane is of mixed race: her mother was white and her father was black. As a result, she belongs to two socio-racial milieus while at the same time never truly belonging to either. Black Americans view her with a sense of distrust because of her white ancestry. They associate her with their oppressors. On the other hand, white Americans view her as essentially black. In the south, in particular, anyone with so much as "one drop" of African heritage in them was considered fully black by default, even if their black ancestry stretched far back and the individual himself or herself appeared to be fair complexioned.
Helga tries her best to navigate the two worlds, but the hostility she receives in both (represented by her maternal uncle's racist new wife, who does not want to be associated with her, and by the black activists who never fully take to her) causes her to feel even more alone.
When Helga goes to Denmark to live with her mother's sympathetic relations,...
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