Plum Bun (Jessie Redmon Fauset)

"'Coloured" Angela, you never told me that you were coloured!  And then her own voice in tragic but proud bewilderment: 'Tell you that I was coloured! Why of course I never told you I was coloured. Why should I?"

"'Coloured" Angela, you never told me that you were coloured! 

And then her own voice in tragic but proud bewilderment: 'Tell you that I was coloured! Why of course I never told you I was coloured. Why should I?"

U.S.A. / 1929

The Harlem Renaissance's influential literati included few women. Even fewer women were actually acknowledged for the contributions they made to the historical Black cultural movement. Jessie Fauset is one of these often-forgotten women. Born in NJ, USA in 1884, her most extensive work was done as an editor for The Crisis, a Black literary magazine that published then-emerging authors like Langston Hughes. 
Despite her marginalization from the movement's epicenter, Fauset capitalized off of her intersectional identity as black and woman by rendering the story of Angela Murray, the novel's protagonist. Angela is a Black American girl who is so light that she chooses to "pass." "Passing" was a social phenomenon in which extremely fair-skinned Black people cheated the racialized system of social power by flipping the "one-drop-rule" over its head and making the choice to live life as a 100% white person. By "becoming" white, people like Angela separated themselves from their black family and heritage. They sacrificed this sense of self in order to seek refuge from the trauma of racial mistreatment and gain the privileges of being white in society. 
In this excerpt, Angela's white best friend "discovers" that Angela is not white, as she had previously assumed. Both girls are young, so Angela had not yet made the choice to "pass." Thus, her "whiteness" was completely coincidental. Angela's bewildered response is evidence of the absurd idea that she needed to confess to the "crime" of her blackness. It is also further evidence of her young naïveté and how her innocence is corrupted by hegemonic societal concepts of race. 

Source: https://www.instagram.com/p/9rV-2_RiQ1/?ta...