Life on the Color Line

by Gregory Howard Williams

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Is race a comprehensive term?

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I think that the narrative that Williams provides constructs race to be an overall and comprehensive term.  When Williams lived life as a "White" person, his life was lived in a particular and defined manner.  Living life in the context of being White was comprehensive as advantage was present, opportunities presented itself and a sense of what can be supplemented being in the world.  When Williams is moved to Indian and lives as a person of color, there is a comprehensive shift in what is.  The life led as a person of color reflects how race is a comprehensive factor that can play a great role in defining what life is presented as.  Williams, himself, did not change. He was still the same person.  Yet, just as his school record changed from "W" for White to "C" for Colored, the reality is that the shifting of his race from one region to another helped to define reality in a comprehensive manner, an overall overhaul of being in the world.  From the wealthy suburbs where White Americans lived to fighting with the rooster for access to the outhouse, race becomes the comprehensive element that helps to play a defining role in shifting reality and the paradigm for viewing it.

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