Cacausia is book written by Danzy Senna about the story of Birdie Lee, a multiracial girl, and her journey to discover herself as a black girl. The novel focus on racial passing and the identity of her race.

Birdie’s parents, Deck and Sandy Lee, were a interracial couple that married before the passing of Loving v. Virgina. Loving v. Virginia as stated by Tom Head in Interracial Marriage Laws History & Timeline, was “The Supreme Court unanimously overturns Pace v. Alabama (1883), ruling in Loving v. Virginia that state bans on interracial marriage violate the 14th amendment of the US Constitution.”  Since Deck and Sandy married before this law was passed, this sprouted a conflict in that Sandy believed that she was being hunted by the FBI.

Many black people who are lighter in complexion can sometimes pass for being white. An account told in Karen Grigsby Bates “A chosen exile: Black People Passing in White America” tells a story of a black woman living in California as a white woman with a white family. Leading this type of life left her unable to get into contact with black family. Birdie in Caucasia faces a similar dilemma in that she had pass as a white Jewish girl so that she and her mom wouldn’t get caught by the feds.

Cacausia was written with a setting in the 70’s, where the legalization interracial marriage was more recent. According to Hansi Lo Wang’s “Steep Rise in Interracial Marriages Among Newlyweds 50 Years After They Became Legal,” interracial marriage has risen from three percent to seventeen percent, at least quintupling by 2015.  Of all people to marry outside of their own race, Asian and Latino people are the most likely with the rates of 46 and 39 percent respectively.

 

Bates, Karen Grigsby. “’A Chosen Exile’: Black People Passing In White America.” NPR, NPR, 7 Oct. 2014, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2014/10/07/354310370/a-chosen-exile-black-people-passing-in-white-america.

Head, Tom. “How Interracial Marriage Laws Have Changed Since the 1600s.” ThoughtCo, www.thoughtco.com/interracial-marriage-laws-721611.

Wang, Hansi Lo. “Steep Rise In Interracial Marriages Among Newlyweds 50 Years After They Became Legal.” NPR, NPR, 18 May 2017, www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/05/18/528939766/five-fold-increase-in-interracial-marriages-50-years-after-they-became-legal.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Cacausia and Interracial Relationships by Jackalyn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment
  1. Baby Lulu 10 months ago

    I am intrigued by the fact that two mixed women changed their race so that they could live a normal life. I get why they changed because at the time interracial relationship were illigeal and they were worried about their safety. I would have done the same thing if t would keep my famliy safe.
    One thing that stands out to me is “ Since Deck and Sandy married before this law was passed, this sprouted a conflict in that Sandy believed that she was being hunted by the FBI…Birdie in Caucasia faces a similar dilemma in that she had pass as a white Jewish girl so that she and her mom wouldn’t get caught by the feds.” I think that this is sad because i dont think people should get in trouble for loving someone. People back then were scared for their life which is not right to me.

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