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Color Blind

Color Blind - cover
Color Blind: A white woman looks at the Negro
Halsey
1946

Submitter: The book I am submitting today caught my eye because of the sad state of the binding. It was very loose and very worn. It was the title page that peeked my curiosity. It details the author’s observation about race while working in a canteen during WW2. I could see this book being a good primary source, say for a scholar or a research library. A tiny public library? Not so much.

Holly: In 1946, this may have been a very candid, honest piece of writing. It is important that it be preserved somewhere. Keeping it on the dusty shelves of a tiny public library is disrespectful. Society has shed so much ignorance since this time that this is absolutely ridiculous – and yet, so, so, so important to preserve. It is dirty and broken, and should be sent to a facility where it can be appreciated for the time and place from which it came.

 

Color Blind - contents

Chapter 2 - Color Conscious

Color Blind - Pages 6 and 7

Color Blind - Pages 24 and 25

Color Blind - Pages 62 and 63

13 Responses to Color Blind

  • Wow yes, this is a must-have for the right library.

  • The word the submitter is looking for is “piqued” (to excite curiosity), not “peeked” (to look quickly or slyly).

  • “Peeked” the submitter’s curiosity?…. The Wikipedia entry for Halsey says this book was banned in Georgia (though it adds the citation is needed). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Halsey

  • Wow, that sample Hate Letter would fit right into a modern-day internet forum, wouldn’t it.

    No, wait, what am I saying? The grammar and spelling are too good.

  • What a fascinating, historical item. Having just finished *Tears we cannot stop : a sermon to white America* by Michael Eric Dyson, the author’s observations about the discomfort of addressing educated blacks and that “equality is not automatic,” are astonishingly honest. This does belong in the correct place to preserve this work.

  • I can definitely see the case for not keeping this in a small public library collection, but boy, is it a fascinating read. So much so that I might be forced to track down a copy.

  • What thoughtful, intelligent, honest writing! I wanted to keep reading. Like Amberfly, I might try to track down a copy. This book definitely needs preservation and the right library home.

    • Margaret Halsey was really interesting; her funny book about being an American in Britain was a huge hit at the time, but her more serious stuff didn’t make as much of a splash, despite its quality and candor. (She also grapples with her unconscious antisemitism despite being married–I think twice, in fact–to Jewish men.)

  • This looks absolutely fascinating. It’s pretty impressive the writer was willing to confront her own prejudices.

  • Oh thank you! I always notice that and point it out. I think “pique” is a word people know; it’s not what comes to mind when they’re typing so the entire meaning changes.

    Kind of like “tow the line” vs “toe the line” which Ms Halsey did not do- Yay!

    I remember books going to the binder during the 70’s but I also did minor book repair as a middle school library assistant. I still repair my books- with proper repair materials. (Brodart.com, I think)

  • Margaret Halsey! I adored her book “With Malice Toward Some” — I reread it every few years. I highly recommend it.