Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Haley Reading (Group A2) Nafissa Thompson-Spires's "Fatima, the Biloquist"


By Lakenzie Walls and Howard Rambsy II

In Nafissa Thompson-Spires's story “Fatima, the Biloquist: A Transformation Story” a teenage Black girl questions her identity and sense of self while attending a predominantly white school. She struggles to feel black enough and befriends Violet, a black teenager with albinism. Violet provides Fatima with guidance—teaching her different connotations and phrases with secondary Black-inflected meanings.

In one example, Fatima considers the racial implications associated with her brown top lip and pink lower one. At school around white people, “she talked with her pink lip, and with Violet, she talked with her brown one” (75). Fatima’s observations about navigating different environments as a Black girl persist throughout the story.

Identify what you thought of as an important scene from the story about the challenges awaiting a Black girl who “felt ready to become black, full black,” which is to say, a Black girl who embraces aspects of African American culture in more deliberate ways. How did that scene confirm or alter your views concerning what a Black girl might face? Please provide the page number for the scene you identify.

127 comments:

Unknown said...

An important scene that really spoke about what black women have to go through is on page 1 when she went to go speak in front of the class but no one paid attention but when a black man went up to speak they all paid attention and gave him great applause for effort that was significantly less than Fatima's.
-Gabriel Scott

Damien W said...

One important scene from the story, when Fatima went to school and the caucasian people were talking about her top lip being brown and the bottom being pink (pg 75). Black women face a lot of challenges in life when it comes to stereotyping and not having confidence in themselves. Some black women often feel like they have to look a certain way to other people. Really they're perfect right then and there.

Valarie M said...

Well for starters I would say that African American women tend to try to change themselves because of society and their standards. According to society, you can't be a certain height, weight, or even look a certain way because it shows that you may look or even have been raised up wrong. This is not the case at all and in Fatima's case, she just wanted to fit in. On page 71 she was buying clothes that she doesn't normally buy and trying to talk with a speech impediment because she thought it was cool. This really confirmed my views on everything that African American girls face. This character was really basically ashamed of the fact that she wasn't black enough because of the way she dress, the way she talk, and the way she look. - Valarie M

Curtis Scott said...

an im0portant scene that really spoke about African American women on page 71 in the text it states Fatima immersed herself in Spanish for her foreign language exam in grad school she pored over vibe magazine and watched yo ! MTV raps and the parkers, trying to work her mouth around phrases with the same4 intonation that Countess Vaughn used, a sort of combination of a jersey accent and a speech impediment.- Curtis S

Anonymous said...

An important scene to me that speaks about what black woman have to go through is on page 80. This scene talks about Rolf saying the words "Anyway, it's not like you're black black", with Fatima taking it as a compliment in spite of most likely feeling wrong about what was said to her. This scene shows how black woman are viewed stereotypically and can even be put in a position by others to for some reason feel complimented or happier because they do not exhibit all of the traits that a black woman may possess even though that is who they are.
- Madisen W.

Jordan W. said...

What I thought was an important scene was when she was listening to Violets judgement on page 69 because this scene confirms my views that a black girl might face is them having people question them and where they are from to really see if they are black. She is asking her questions about her environment and I feel like people can judge you based off of that because they would think that your kind of white or not black enough for them.

Leea S. said...

I think an important scene, on page 65, that speaks about what a black woman have to go through is when Fatima went in front of her class recited "An Address to the Ladies, by their Best Friend Sincerity", her classmates wasn't paying attention at all and clapped with dull palms. But, when Wally recited "Incident" everyone paid attention and clapped energetically for him. This is, to me is showing me how black women are still being stereotyped and devalued just because of who they are.

-Leea S.

Jordan Rowe said...

An important scene that spoke out to me was on page 80. This scene spoke out to me because as black people we have to deal with the stereotype of if you are black you have to either "act black" or not even claim to be black and most of the time as black children we don't get to choose or control the type of cultures we grow up around and obviously if we grow up around a certain culture than we begin to adapt to that culture no matter what culture it is. But the scene spoke out to me because it almost shocked me to hear her boyfriend Rolf make such micro aggression comments to her constantly during their relationship and it is also shocking even for a black young woman that grew up around the white culture to not address him about the comments. But I believe that even if you are black and you grow up around certain cultures you should 100% embrace who you are and never try to fit a certain stereotype just because your'e expected to act a certain way.

La’ Raye said...

Page 80 really spoke out to me because we black people just go through so many things just because of the color of our skin. But, page 80 was about her boyfriend Rolf made a rude and aggressive comment to her. Then, it hurt worse to see that she didn't do or say anything to him about it. We go through things like this all the time, but unlike her, we need to stand up for US. We are beautiful and so empowering. I love us and our culture and all of us must stick together and educate others who do or say mean things to us and educate others that are and aren't like us. We should be proud of who we are and our skin color no matter what people say or do!
- La'Raye Littlepage

Starteese S. said...

One important scene from the story that spoke out about what black women may face is on page 68. "Fatima had been accused of whiteness and being a traitor to the race before, whenever she spoke up in Sunday school at her AME church ...to upset her mother." I think this scene shows what black women may face because since she attends a predominantly white school, people of her own race will not accept her while perceiving her as white and tend to have her question who she really is.

Xavier Stacker said...

One of the impactful scenes in the current reading was on page 80 when Rolf said "Anyway, it's not like you're black black,". The reason why is because I was raised in a very similar situation. One memory that has stuck with me longer than it should was one of the times I went to a family reunion and one of my older cousins said I sound white, because of the way I talk. I think we the African American community need to stop doing this, for lack of better phrasing, because it punishes others for being themselves, puts our community down, and it upholds the same people you don't want others to be compared to.

-Xavier Stacker

Shaniyah Robinson said...

An important scene from the story for me that talks about what black women go through are when Rolf says, Anyway, it's not like your black black"(pg 80). Fatima unknowingly took it as a compliment when it was actually a dig towards her. This scene is very accurate because it is stereotyping black women which we see a lot in today's society. To some black women are all supposed to look the same and if you have different traits from other black women you get backlash or you aren't considered "really black". -Shaniyah Robinson

Sierrea McNiff said...

The scene from page 80 shows the fear that a lot of black women have while dating white men. In this scene, Violet and Mike see Fatima and Rolf, her hidden boyfriend, at the movies. Fatima was worried about losing everything she had learned from Violet about blackness because she was dating Rolf. This is why she kept him a secret up to this point. When we date outside our race, we are seen as betraying our fellow black brothers and ancestors. Or that we hate ourselves. As someone who has no preferences when dating, I have been questioned about my "blackness" and it's disheartening. I love my skin and my people but that does not have to put limitations on who I date.

Heaven Watkins said...

An important scene that stood out to me that shows what black woman faces is on page 74 "Fatima picked up some theories on her own , too , without Violet or the Literature. The thing about the brown top lip and the pink lower one , Fatima had pieced together after what she learned from Violet and what she learned at school , was that you could either read them as two souls trying to merge into a better self , or you could conceal them under makeup and talk with whichever lip was convenient for the occasion. This scene shows how black black woman wants to change themselves and not be themselves. This shows that she has no confidence in herself.

Sandy Stokes said...

I agree with what the majority of the comments are saying about page 75 when people were talking about her lips. Most black women try or want to change themselves because of society's sterotypes. I Also thought the scene on page 80 was important when her boyfriend said its not like you're black black. It shows how anyone can judge you and make you feel less than, comments like that are made often and it needs to stop.

Britney Wallace said...

The story “Fatima, the Biloquist” was very relatable. Black women are always having to try and prove they can fit in with society. The scene that I believed to be the most powerful was on page (72). Violet is teaching Fatima slang that will help Fatima fit in better. This scene is something that many young black girls grow up and face. People attribute talking with correct grammar to “talking white.” This is a false connection and is, unfortunately, a widespread belief amongst society. It causes black girls to try and change the way they speak and present themselves in the hopes they will fit in. - Britney W.

Caleb W. said...

The scene that stood out to me that shows what not only black women face but the black race as a whole faces is on page 66 in the bottom paragraph. The white kids at Fatima's school praised Wally for listening to black rap, wearing FUBU shirts, and Jordan's but they call Fatima a ghetto superstar. Black women and black people as a whole have to deal with white people stealing our own culture, while we get looked at crazy and called different names for just being ourselves. That isn't okay.

Destiny M. said...

The scene that stood out to me was the first page because when fatima is speaking to the class they aren’t really paying attention or respectful as she is speaking but when this black men going by the name “wally the wigger” was speaking in front of the class every white person in the room was paying attention to him a black men.

Alexis Price said...

I would say page 74 is important because Fatima is changing herself and personality . She is code switching so she fits in with both crowds .A black girl faces many things like being judged for who she is or what she wears and her tone .

Kendall B said...

The most interesting scene was reading about a black woman trying to date a white man . That's not normal in society and others look at individuals poorly for dating other races. The first observation about races that date other races is that maybe there not culturally educated.

Jania M. said...

An important scene from this chapter for me is when the Rolf says, “Anyways it’s not like your black, black” (pg80). I believe this is a societal issue in which black women are constantly concerned about what other people think of them and are hesitant to date outside of their race. Fatima didn't give it a second thought and simply let Rolf's remarks pass her by. As of today, we face numerous challenges, and simply ignoring someone's harsh words is no longer an option.- Jania Mitchell

Kailiah W. said...

An important scene from the story is when Fatima went to school and was made fun of because of her features such as her top lip being brown and her bottom lip being pink (p.75). This particular scene showcases the struggles that black women go through pertaining to societal beauty standards. In our society, beauty standards that pressure black women to lose weight, gain weight, lighten their skin, plump their lips, and more cause women such as Fatima to feel insecure.

Kailiah W. said...

An important scene from the story is when Fatima went to school and was made fun of because of her features such as her top lip being brown and her bottom lip being pink (p.75). This particular scene showcases the struggles that black women go through pertaining to societal beauty standards. In our society, beauty standards that pressure black women to lose weight, gain weight, lighten their skin, plump their lips, and more cause women such as Fatima to feel insecure.

Erin Myers said...

Anozha S,:

An important scene from the story about the challenges awaiting a Black girl who “felt ready to become black, full black,” which is to say, a Black girl who embraces aspects of African American culture in more deliberate ways, would be when on pg 80 Fatima accepts a backhanded comment made towards her. This is an impactful example because it shows a pretty prominent occurrence in society. Back handed comments are made by people who look down on black people and black people are just supposed to be grateful they were even acknowledged. This is outrageous.

Josiah Olden said...

On the first page of the chapter, it was interesting how Fatima felt as if she was half of something whole. She felt like she was "hot breath on someone's neck" and "a colorless gas". Her entire life she felt that her existence did not matter. That changed when she heard something on the news about being whatever you wanted. She decided that she was ready to embrace her entire self. But, that changed when her class was not paying any attention to her when she was giving her speech but gave wild applause to a black kid whose speech was subpar. That very scene speaks to the many obstacles that black women, specifically, have to go through. Women are already oppressed in every facet of society. But being black and a woman has its own added stresses.

Anonymous said...

The important scene to me is when Violet is asking Fatima if racism is present at her school(73). She talks about how she does not have to explain why she wraps her hair or carries a tube of cream. This scene stands out because Fatima does not have to hide the things that come with being black as she is trying to embrace the black part of herself more. I think this confirmed the view that black girls are always looked at closely in a setting like that, having to explain the reason for a silk scarf or why she takes hand cream everywhere.

-Dayevion M

Unknown said...

On page 80 Rolf says to Fatima, “Anyway, its not like your black, black”. I think that this is the point where I realized that black girls and black men who went to private schools would face something like this. It something upsetting because in personal experience the worst thing a person can say is that I am not black enough.It’s also hard because what really is the definition of being fully black. -- Meikiyia R.

Jarrod Rhodes said...

On page 80, a challenge that a black woman will face is people misunderstanding their identity. Fatima was surrounded by white people, so she felt the need to talk like a white person. The white students saw Fatima, a black woman, as another white person. However, they did not show her respect possibly due to her shyness and racist views. The moment where Fatima wanted to become black, Rolf, a white man, said that she is not truly black. I feel that Fatima is truly struggling with her self identity, and it also shows the significance of communicating with our parents. If Fatima's parents would have taken the initiative to talk with her, then I feel that she would not be in conflict with herself.
Jarrod Rhodes

Unknown said...

India Phillips- what stood out the most for me is the fact that fatima had read poem in class and nobody payed her any attention . But when a white boy read the same poem everyone gave him their full attention . which is unfair because why did they only pay attention when a white person told the story.

Unknown said...

Page 80 really stood out to me because of the comment that Fatima got about her not being "black black". I believe that this scene was important because it shows how society tries to put black women into a stereotyped box with negative connotations of being "black". When black women are not seen as fitting into the black stereotype, they are seen as not truly black by others, which can have negative affects on how they see themselves and how they perceive their culture.

-Cierstin N

Unknown said...

Zariyah Reid

One scene from the story that I found to be important about the challenges awaiting a black girl is on page 71 when Fatima got a new jacket and wanted Violet’s approval. The quote reads “Still, she was happy when Violet looked approvingly of it.” That specific quote confirmed my views concerning that regardless of how hard you try, being a black girl you will always get judged. Black women get judged by all races including our own and if you don’t look a certain way or fit a certain standard you’re considered white-washed disregarding the million other things that do make you black.

Anonymous said...

Makiah Lewis

One scene from the story that stood out to me was how on page 75 how the white kids were making fun of her lips. I feel like black people in general have a hard time fitting in with what society wants us to be or look like. I think it's important for other races to be educated and more respectful because some of them do not realize that what they say can have a deep toll on peoples lives forever.
-Makiah Lewis

Anonymous said...

Makiah Lewis

One scene from the story that stood out to me was how on page 75 how the white kids were making fun of her lips. I feel like black people in general have a hard time fitting in with what society wants us to be or look like. I think it's important for other races to be educated and more respectful because some of them do not realize that what they say can have a deep toll on peoples lives forever.
-Makiah Lewis

DeAndre W. said...

An important scene from Thompson-Spires "Fatima, the Bloquist" 80 when Rolf said "Anyway, it's not like you're black black,". This is still prominent today as people always say you "act white" black women are usually struggling finding their identity on the inside which may not always match their Identity on the outside. Black women who "act white" are usually not accepted by those of the same race. This can cause them to get lost and not know which way to go.

This can cause a tear between them and their culture because the people who look like them are not accepting them for who they really are.
-DeAndre W.

Brandon Wiles said...

And important scene is the one on Pages 67 and 68 where Fatima is in that make up store. Fatima was racially profiled by the workers there and they even tried to deny her service until Violet in her boldness corrected them by saying “to everyone who asks, right?” This is important because it shows that even Black people who are seen as less black will still be treated badly by racists. Also it affirms the fact that being more like a stereo typical black person is not a bad thing. In a way Fatima learned a lesson that being black and acting like the majority of Black people is not a bad thing to do.

swither@siue.edu said...

This alters my view of black girl might face because she was growing up in a world where she was surrounded by white people more than she was by black people. Now she's going through certain links or certain ways on how to become black when she said “it's not that I'm trying to be white. It’s just that’s what I’m around” (69). This causes her to have an identity crises which alter her perception on race.
- Sydney.W

Aerin T. said...

A scene that from the I found to be important was on page 68 when Violet called Fatima a white girl. As well, on page 80 when Rolf said Fatima was not "black black." These two scenes just showed how people expect black girls to be "ghetto" and improper. Especially in the way they talk. Black girls often get called white just for using proper grammar, or being educated.

Paul Olubodun said...

The part I found most important was when Fatima used what she learned on Wally the Wigger. He was about to say something to Fatima, so she gave him a look, which he actually noticed and obeyed. This was on page 75.

-Paul Olubodun

Amarie McCleary said...

One of the many scenes that occurred throughout the story I thought was important was on page 66. When Wally "The Wigger" was seen as popular for wearing popular shirts, Jordans, and listening to popular rap songs whereas Fatima was seen as a "ghetto supastar". This scene confirmed my already set in stone views that concerns me as a black girl that black people in general are seen as "ghetto" for wearing things that we see as fashionable to us but when others do so they are praised and set "trends". Black people can have things that are the normal in their culture and then people can make them "trendy" then they call black people ghetto for wearing their normal attire.

Me-Na S. said...

An important scene from the story about the challenges awaiting a Black girl who “felt ready to become black, full black,” was the scene on pg.66 when the author stated," Nor was it fair that she should get a warning from principal lee for "looking like she might be come violent" when wally said "nigger" and got applause". Fatima at this point has come to a realization of how unfair the world is. this scene confirms what a black girl faces by showing that the community around here applause tormenting people if they aren't the same.

DeMarco Smith said...

I believe what was happening on and what was said on page 80 was what stood out the most to me in this section. Like when Rolf us the term "black black" it is something most of us black people can connect to or remember an instance where this was used. Over stereotypical things like you don't act black just because my pants aren't sagging or I talk respectfully when speaking to others. Even ones like since he has dreads he is a thug or felon, doesn't have a job, living off ebt, and different things like that. I just like the way Fatima chooses to take it as a compliment instead of blowing it up into something it doesn't have to be.

Brandon Wiles said...

An important scene is the one on pages 67 and 68 where Fatima is in that makeup store. Fatima was racially profiled by the workers there and they even tried to deny her service until Violet in her boldness stopped them and asked for a free sample. Then when the worker said "We only give samples to-";Violet cut the worker off saying “to everyone who asks, right?” Then they left the store with their free samples. This is important because it shows that even Black people who are seen as less black will still be treated badly by racists. Also it affirms the fact that being more like a stereo typical black person is not a bad thing. In a way Fatima learned a lesson that being black and acting like the majority of Black people is not a bad thing to do.

Amarie McCleary said...

One of the many scenes throughout the story I thought was important was on page 66. When Wally "The Wigger" was seen as popular for wearing popular clothing and shoes as well as listening to popular rap music. This scene confirmed my already concrete views a black girl might face because it shows the true reality that black people face such as their regular attire and music they listen too is seen as "ghetto" when we do it but when other races do it its popular and trendy. Wally was also seen and was paid attention to when he did such things while we are made fun of and ridiculed.

Amarie McCleary said...

One of the many scenes throughout the story I thought was important was on page 66. When Wally "The Wigger" was seen as popular for wearing popular clothing and shoes as well as listening to popular rap music. This scene confirmed my already concrete views a black girl might face because it shows the true reality that black people face such as their regular attire and music they listen too is seen as "ghetto" when we do it but when other races do it its popular and trendy. Wally was also seen and was paid attention to when he did such things while we are made fun of and ridiculed.

Amir Madison said...

On page 74,the narrarator explained how Violet would react to being called 'Patti Mayonnaise,' "Just ask her ex-boyfriend and her ex-friend Kandice from middle school, who had called her Patti Mayonnaise in a fit of anger and gotten a beat down..." (74). Violet took the term "Patti Mayonnaise" to offence because people often mistake her for being white when in actuality she is black and she identifies with being black. This scene helped confirm that people judge you based off of your skin color first before anything else.

Anonymous said...

I would say page 68 where Violet feels a sigh of relief when Fatima calls her a "white girl" then she goes onto to explain how she's been accused of whiteness her whole life. She then goes on to explain how she would cry in solitude about the accusations of whiteness. I think it shows that it hurts when you are not considered black just because you don't fit into the monolithic definition of blackness. Blackness can't be defined as one experience or aspect so I think this story shows that it does hurt when people try to fit certain types of black people into a box. There's no one right way to be black, therefore we shouldn't be judging those who might not fit into our perception of blackness.-A'Nya Wilkes

Jalen Q. said...

An important scene was at the end of pg.74 and the beginning of pg. 75 where it talks about the how Fatima is she split between two parts of herself represented by her brown top lip and pink bottom lip. This analogy is also repeated through the rest of the chapter. This brings up an important challenge that black girls have to face. They may feel like they like need to suppress their blackness in order to be order to be accepted.

Kehajana Tallie said...

An important scene that stood out to me was on page 80. It was a comment about Fatima not being "black black". I thought about how black women can't be themselves without being judged about how black they are. Not only black women but black people in general. When black people dont fit the black sterotype people say their not fully black. Black people are different. All of us don't act the same and do the same things. It's time for people to normalize just being black and not "black black".

Devin Perry said...

An important scene that really spoke to me is on page 80. It really stuck out to me because it really highlighted how black women are put on a spectrum. They can't act a certain way or they are considered whitewashed and they can't act to black or they ghetto. It's a sad reality that young girls have to face this but outside the book, this is something that these girls go through every day. But I am glad Fatima had Violet to share these experiences with.

-Devin Perry

Kamari Washington said...

I can see that Fatima's situation put her in a very awkward social situation, without much chance to fit in with either African or European Americans. It seemed that the story was going to end on a positive note seeing how well Fatima and Violet was getting along, but I felt that things where going to change when she didn't tell her friend the truth about Rolf. To me it just felt that Fatima thought the things Violet taught her she could use and nothing bad would happen in the end.

ArTerrious Thorpe said...

The scene from page 77 seemed important because Fatima decided top go on her first date with a white guy from her school. While this was happening she is still seperating her personalities by going out with a white guy, and not fully embracing the "full black" self. Now she is about to go in a public setting where her Violet is likely to see her; she will be unable to seperate those worlds then. Confirming my concerns of how Fatima should not seperate who she personality based on who she is talking with at the time. Showing that she is not ready to become "full black".

- ArTerrious T.

Mariah S. said...

One moment that stood out was on page 80. Rolf said to Fatima "Anyway, it's not like your black black. However prior to that, he'd say "I don't see color" but if he didn't, her being "black black" shouldn't have mattered. people claim to not see color but their actions contradict that. Rolf's statement just reinstated the various challenges black girls go through around a majority white environment. I could understand given the fact I get told I "talk white" on a day-to-day basis. There are several things black people face that don't fall into white people's groupings.-Mariah S.

tyria said...

Ty’Ria Rounds-
I think African American women tend to changes themselves to conform to society. On page 71 she bought clothes different from what she would usually buy. She also talked differently than she normally would. She felt insecure because she thought she wasn’t black enough.

tyria said...

Ty’Ria Rounds-
On page 71 she bought different clothes than what she would normally wear and talked differently. She did this because she felt insecure as a black person.

Maurice King said...

One important that I believe challenges is on page 80 when Rolf talks to Fatima and tells her that she is not "black black". During my life, people had told me I may look black, but I don't act black cause of how I would act around others. It was sad for me to hear that sometimes, but I had ended up getting over it.

Trista Mazyun said...

The scene that spoke to me the most was the scene on page 65. In this scene, Fatima is reciting a poem to the class. Her classmates aren't giving her the attention that she deserved because she is a young black girl. This scene spoke to me because I can relate to it. To be heard/ seen as a young black girl is so difficult because when you are nice and quiet, people ignore you or walk over you. When you are loud and want to be seen, people call you ghetto.

Preston Wingo said...

I would like to say that this story is nothing that doesn't already happen in real life anyway. We were taught to dislike everything about us from our hair, to lips, skin, height, weight, etc. In the instance, with Fatima, all she wanted was acceptance and the feeling of love. But ten then she got talked about by Caucasians beca[use her lips didn't match, and since she didn't feel accepted she changed herself to fit in with her own kind because she wasn't comfortable in her own skin. Most Black women feel as if they have to look or be a certain way because they are not comfortable in their own skin. But if they only realize that their differences made them stronger then they will understand that who they are is perfect for them and there will not be anyone like you.

Unknown said...

I think one important scene is on page 80 when Rolf told Violet "Anyway, it's not like you're black black" and page 81 when he says "Even your black friends are white, too". Rolf completely disregards Violet as an African American because her skin isn't dark. HE is inconsiderate and rude for saying offensive comments to her. I also feel like Fatima should have defended her friend after her boyfriend made those comments. Skin color is often an issue for black women today. Individuals too dark, too light, or not enough of the other, are criticized and it seems as though there is a standard to what truly defines a black woman or a black person in general. Is race identified by genes, color, or something else? Most people identify according to skin but I think "being black" is deeper than just that.

Tateaundra W said...

An important scene to me from the story that showed challenges that black girls face is on page 66 & 67 when Fatima went to the mall and was looking at different lipsticks and the clerk behind the counter didn't greet or acknowledge her but when violet spoke up and ask for some samples of the lipstick the clerk started to say "We only give samples to" until Violet cut her off. This scene shows and confirms what black girls go through on a daily basis because she discriminated her by her skin color and how she dressed thinking she couldn't afford to buy what she was looking at and still to this day when black people in general go to a store we get overlooked or watched closely.

Sydney Laneice Piggott said...

On page 80,Rolf states "Anyway, it's not like you're black black,".This is important to me because growing up, I was always told that I wasn't black enough. I didn't understand what that meant until I got a little older. I thought I was fine the way I was so I didn't let it phase me. As I started to find new friends, I started to understand that me being suburban and into different things qualified me as "not black" enough.

Sealaya W said...

On page 80, Rolf told Fatima she wasn't "black black." My very first thought when I read that was questioning what that truly meant. Fatima is a black girl who has struggled with embracing her blackness to the fullest extent and a comment like that would only set her back and make her self conscious and wonder if all of her efforts have been for nothing. This is important because it shows that in certain environments blackness is not celebrated which would cause some identity crisis which, to me, is what Fatima is going through.

-Sealaya W

Marquis P said...

An important scene that stood out to me was when Rolf stated Fatima is not “black, black.” (80) This scene is relevant because it goes to show how black women are judged and stereotyped about their blackness. It should also be noted how throughout this entire story Fatima faced countless judgements and backlash to the point where she’d unconsciously take Rolf's claim as a “compliment". It’s really disheartening how we are perceived as “not black, black” and disregarded because of the way some of us choose to speak.

Unknown said...

One important scene from the chapter that stood out to me was on page 72 when fatima and her friends were practcing their slang, perfecting their pronunciation of certain words such as "fer shure" to "fisshow".
Kancy

Calviana S. said...

Many girls of color feel the need to alter themselves or change how they act, speak, or look. The example from the book would turn to page 71. Fatima generally chose clothes that she wouldn’t think to wear before her circumstances of society and attending an predominantly white school.

Calviana S. said...

Many girls of color feel the need to alter themselves or change how they act, speak, or look. The example from the book would turn to page 71. Fatima generally chose clothes that she wouldn’t think to wear before her circumstances of society and attending an predominantly white school.

-Calviana S.

Shelby Taylor said...

This really stood out to me as what black women had to go through on page one when this women went to speak out in front of a class, but no one was paying attention. But when the black man went to speak out in front of the class the whole class payed attention the whole time. Is this a case of when the white women were less superior than the whit man? Is it that the black women have to look a certain way for people to pay attention to them or respect them. But there is also a lesson to learn from Fatima that being black and also acting like it is not a bad thing to do especially when black people as seen as less black as they actually are.
-Shelby Taylor

Gabrielle S. said...

This stood out to me because it’s so common for black girls to feel that they arrest good enough as they are and that they constantly need to strive to be something better. This book helped open my eyes to a stigma that needs to be dissolved. - Gabrielle Simmons

Ciaunna M. said...

A scene that stood out to me was when Violet and Fatima was at the store trying to get lipstick. The salesperson looked at them and discriminated against them because of their looks. This made me feel like all people may feel just because our skin color is brown were unworthy to be wealthy. Especially since they tried to give her an ultimatum of going too Claire's where it was "cheaper".

Nyah Marcano said...

The scene that stood out to me was on page 68, when Fatima and Violet were trying to get makeup samples and the sales women was being rude to them, and gave them many dirty looks. This is something that I myself have had experience with and it is so upsetting to deal with. It makes you feel as though there is something wrong with you just because of your skin color.

-Nyah Marcano

RYAN PARHAM said...

A scene that stood out to me was when they where trying to talk to a class and no one payed attention but when the man went up and spoke everyone started to listen. It stood out because I have seen first hand that what a woman says isn't deemed important but when a man says the same thing it's insightful, which is infuriating. Having to live in a world that doesn't listen to you just because you are a woman is difficult.

Jason Newman said...

What stood out to me the scene on page 65 where when the black woman tried to speak up nobody listened, but when a black man did it everybody listened. This shows how much people think a man is more important than a woman and people assume that what a man says is more important. This is probably very frustrating to women and especially black women that their voices aren't deemed as important as a mans voice.

Anonymous said...

Being a black woman in today's society I know first hand the many challenges we face everyday. So on page 75 when the non-black students at Fatima's school was discussing her lips being two different colors that scene was important to me. I went to a predominantly white middle school and I didn't look the way a person would think a little black girl would look. I had long curly hair and dressed to impress, and the other black girls would tell me I was trying to be white which was wrong because I felt like they were belittling the fact that a black girl could be pretty and dress nice and still be considered black.

-Jasmyne Whitehead

Jayla Walker said...

The scene that stood out to me was when the black person got in front of the class to speak, people barely listened and barely clapped. The acted as if they didn't care about her speaking and was extremely rude. Yet when the white person spoke, the class actually listened. This stood out to me because it happens often to people of color. Not just for standing front of the class to speak, but it applies to so many different aspects. It also stood out because it was shocking that people have to endure this in their lives.

Unknown said...

The scene that stood out to me was when the black person got in front of the class to speak, people barely listened and barely clapped. The acted as if they didn't care about her speaking and was extremely rude. Yet when the white person spoke, the class actually listened. This stood out to me because it happens often to people of color. Not just for standing front of the class to speak, but it applies to so many different aspects. It also stood out because it was shocking that people have to endure this in their lives.

Anonymous said...

A scene that was significant to me was on page 80, when Fatima asked Rolf if dating black girls was a thing for him or if she was the first. His response was that he doesn't "see color", yet in the same breath he said "I just saw you". My concern is of how he was able to see Fatima without her blackness- given that is who she is. His end statement of her not being "black black" anyway gave all the confirmation I needed in noticing that Rolf is dating her because he doesn't view her as black because she simply doesn't "act" black. You could tell there is a shift happening inside of Fatima as a result of her time spent with Violet, because his statements made her feel slightly angry and conflicted. She didn't want that "compliment" from Ralph but she tried to take it anyway.

- Jaisha Sims

Jessica Rhodes said...

One important scene I thought was very intriguing was the one where her boyfriend made an aggressive rude comment towards her. This grab my attention because a lot of black young girls are getting bashed daily for what they wear how they look or even how they talk and for someone she trusted even loved to even say something so hurtful that can make her feel any type of way means that he never loved her in the being.

Anjel Vela said...

On page 80, Fatima is in conversation with Rolf about being the first black girlfriend. Rolf begins to say that he doesn't see color, then contradicts himself by saying "it's not like your black black." I feel like this scene is perfect representation of what it's like for black girls to date. First off, in the black community it is becoming more of a trend to date white people. Many shame against it but it is still happening. And I personally feel that this is the reason why it's so strongly shunned and viewed as messing with the "oppressor." The obvious prejudice in his statement "black black" is completely intolerable and rude. But at the end of the day, love is love and you like what you like. The battle between viewing love as love and not dating who you truly like in respect for yourself and culture is a battle that I feel not only black women but men go through constantly.

Ian Lindsey said...

A scene that was significant to me was on page 68 when I began to read more about what Fatima went through. She was accused of whiteness and betraying her race by so many people in her life that it scared her and lowered her self esteem and pride. It made me think that later in the story, Fatima will resort to code switching and this altered my view of what a black girl might face because of a situation like this were to happen they will result to siding with the in-crowd rather than sticking to their own culture. -Ian L.

Kiara Umana said...

On page 67, Fatima was observing different lipgloss colors while being overlooked by the saleswomen. Violet stood up and asked the salesgirl for a few samples and the salesperson hesitated to satisfy her demands with a response that, "We only give samples to"(Thomson-Spires 67). The salesgirl was cut off by Violet finishing her comment with, "to everyone who asks, right?"(68). This specific scene describes what African American/Black women are bound to have to face in public by just being of different skin color. There shouldn't be a reason as to why the salesgirl was so upset to give two black girls samples of lip gloss. Was it because of her skin color and because it was expensive? Did she not think Fatima or Violet could afford such glosses?
-Kiara Umana

Sarai WB said...

An important scene to me was when Fatima and Violet went to the mall and asked for samples but the sales associate was not trying to give it to them until Violet spoke up in a demanding voice. I feel like at that point Fatima took that as a learning experience. This just confirmed that regardless of your age as a African American female, you are always looked down upon or treated differently due to stereotypes or people's indifferences.

-Sarai W.B.

Deaunzze T said...

An important scene from the book for me is on page 75 where she was talking about how Black people's lips are judged because they are usually two-toned. This is too common for Black people to the point where its almost to be expected from someone who isn't Black.

- Deaunzze T.

Unknown said...

Carmesha J.

This chapter showed many racial incidents that still happens in the real world today but the one that stuck out to be was when Rolf said "Anyway, it's not like you're black black,". Since blacks weren't looked to have any sense many began to normalize the phrase " you talk white" as if we couldn't be intelligent and talk proper.

Ayanna T. said...

In the book “heads of colored people” by Nafissa Thompson-spires I was able to see several moments in the book where the author tries to show the audience the different ways that black people become “fully black.” For example, in the story Violet and Fatima begin talking about how Fatima needs to learn to act black. Therefore, she begins teaching Fatima different phrases and dances that are common amongst the black community. Specifically, the book says, “violet made Fatima a study guide of the top ten black expressions for rating attractive men, and they practiced the pronunciations together.” (Thompson-Spires, 71) Then afterwards, Fatima begins to embrace this new identity by wearing different clothes and feeling more comfortable with the things that she does.

Ayanna T.

Ayanna T. said...

In the book “heads of colored people” by Nafissa Thompson-spires I was able to see several moments in the book where the author tries to show the audience the different ways that black people become “fully black.” For example, in the story Violet and Fatima begin talking about how Fatima needs to learn to act black. Therefore, she begins teaching Fatima different phrases and dances that are common amongst the black community. Specifically, the book says, “violet made Fatima a study guide of the top ten black expressions for rating attractive men, and they practiced the pronunciations together.” (Thompson-Spires, 71) Then afterwards, Fatima begins to embrace this new identity by wearing different clothes and feeling more comfortable with the things that she does.

Ayanna T

Erin Myers said...

Kevyere M.:

Fatima is faced with cultural appropriations from other students at her school. While people talk about her lips and how one part of her lip is darker from the other and when she puts on black liner to bring out the color of her lips, they criticize her making it harder for her to fit in. Overall I find it sad how women have to always be judged by their looks or how they present themselves so that they can “fit in” with society.

Unknown said...

On the first Paige when it was talked about Fatima being ready to be " black black " I felt was important. I may have took it a different way then intended but I remember growing up and not being " black enough " because if the way that I talked, or wore my hair and didn't really feel black untill I changed those things

Anonymous said...

Page 69 speaks to me for the fact that those things are true. Hardships for black women have existed and continue to exist. Also the "not black enough" content on the first page is very valid because often times black people judge other black people for their decisions, actions, accent, music choice, etc.

Isiah Miller said...

I think Page 71 is very interesting because it shows how she feels the need to change the way she talks. I feel like it happens too often where black people feel the need to code-switch and change the way they talk depending on if they're around white people or other black people.

Chris Rhodes said...

An important scene from the story about the challenges awaiting a black girl who wants to become “fully black” is on page 72. When Violet is teaching Fatima slang, Fatima has an issue with saying the n word and Violet explains that it’s a term on endearment. This is an important scene because it shows that in order to be “fully black” you must use the n word, which isn’t a true statement. If a black person chooses not to say the n word, that doesn’t make that person any less black than a black person who does say it. This scene confirmed my views concerning what Fatima might face because she believes she has to change how she acts, speaks, and dresses in order to be “fully black.” When in reality there is no right way to be black. Being black isn’t a trend or a character, it’s a race!
- Chris Rhodes.

Sam Msengi said...

I think the scenes that stood out the most were scenes that held the dispariences between how gender was treated. Namely, despite two characters being of the african american descent, one recieved attention--whilst the other did not. The scene I speak of specifically was when the transaction of a black male recieving attention whenever they presented--and in contrast, the black female did not recieve as much attention. Attention to me, and to many others, is a form of respect--and this insurrection demonstrates disrespect despite being of the same race, the male was given more attention.

Vashanti R said...

On page 65 Fatima described herself as a "colorless gas'. That scene spoke to me the most because in human nature we like to stand out and be unique, even if we don't want to be seen or heard we love to stand out from other people because that is what makes us who we are when we stand out from a crowd. So for her to feel that kind of way as if she is just nonexistent due to her skin color it struck a nerve. Walking in a room full of people who have a different complexion from you you expect yourself to stand out, but not in a good way. But in this scene it's like they don't even acknowledge her presence at all due to her skin color which makes her feel left out in so many ways. No one should feel left out or be counted out just because of how they look.
-Vashanti R

tyra OLIVER said...

i feel like page 80 is speaks a lot of good facts. its say thats anyway it not like you're black black.

Martaejia Murphy said...

the important scene that stood out to me was on page 65. When they spoke about black women going through things more than anybody ,I totally agree with that. There's so much that black women go through that no one knows about , because we don't speak up most of the time. We always try to be strong and independent. As well as something on page 71, about feeling like she needs to change the ways she talks or her appearance .

Honesty Simmons said...

Black women face a lot of challenges in life when it comes to stereotyping and not having confidence in themselves. On the first page it stated how Fatima being ready to be " black black " I felt was important. I may have took it a different way then intended but I remember growing up and not being " black enough " because if the way that I talked, or wore my hair and didn't really feel black untill I changed those things

Madison Wilkins said...

An important scene from the story that stuck with me is on page 80 where Fatima was nervous about showing the world about who she was dating, a white man. Black women dating white men is an uncomfortable topic within the black community. This scene in the book reflects this effect on black women who date outside of their race and how they think people will perceive them. So, Fatima hides her boyfriend from the world so she would not get judged for her life choices.

Unknown said...

An important scene to me was the scene from page 80. Black people go throw so many things simply because the color of our skin. On page 80 her boyfriend made a rude comment towards her and she just accepted it for what it was and didn't stand up for herself. Us as African Americans should be tired of going through things like this and should take pride in standing up for ourselves.


-Dakahi L

Niobe Young said...

A scene that I want to point out about the challenges awaiting a black woman who wants to be considered “black” in matters of “acting black” and not associating her personality with the common persona of a white girl. The specific scene is on page 81 when Fatimah couldn’t handle her two worlds of black and white. On one hand she had a black friend who understood her and helped her feel like she could be herself and on the other hand had a stereotyping black people white boyfriend who even made remarks about black people in front of his black girlfriend. I am a black girl so I know what black women face as far as trying to fit in, but I was lucky enough to not have to deal with that as I grew up in the city around urban black people as well as an urban household. So if anything this confirms my views around black people who are uneducated about their own blackness that try so hard to fit in with a society that was never meant for them.

Unknown said...

I think Page 75 spoke very loudly about how Fatima spoke saying that "with Emily, she talked with her pink lip, and with Violet, she talked with her brown one." The author lets you know how she changes her tone when she talks to different people. Also lets you know that how uncomfortable she is as a person.

Unknown said...

I think Page 75 spoke very loudly about how Fatima spoke saying that "with Emily, she talked with her pink lip, and with Violet, she talked with her brown one." The author lets you know how she changes her tone when she talks to different people. Also lets you know that how uncomfortable she is as a person.

-Audriahna M

Samuel Msengi said...

I think a scene that stuck out to me was the topic at the beginning of the novel. In which a insurerction occured of which two people, of hte same race, but differing gender, were not given equal treatment. Equal treatment as in respect for those who are speaking, in which this scenario was a black male and black woman. One was given more attention and more respect compared to the other.

Airyanna Swanson said...

In the book, The Heads Of The Colored People. One import scene on page 71 that really stood out to me would have to be when violet was giving tips for Fatima that she needs to start "acting black". because, Fatima would dress in a certain way and have her hair and makeup that would caused her to be critiqued. So, I think violet helps violet find her confidence, sense of fashion and new identity with this change.

Airyanna Swanson said...

In the book, The Heads Of The Colored People. One thing that stood out to me would have to be on page 71 is that violet gives Fatima a study guide on how to rate attractive men and study pronuciations together. I really liked that by violet doing this help Fatima find herself and her own sense of style and be confident in herself. Because Fatima would use to dress her self up in certain ways to try and fit in with the other kids at school or wear her makeup in a certain way if someone were to make fun of her lips.

dorien phillips said...

the scene that spoke to me the most when t speaks on hardships for black women and they continue t be present for them till this day. pg(69)

dorien phillips

Unknown said...

There were a few scenes in the story that I though conveyed good examples of the complexity of navigating two different worlds. The first example would be at the beginning of the story from pages 65-66, when it is explained that Wally, the white boy, got a lot of praise from his bare minimum support of black people, whereas Fatima was seen as ghetto when she tried to embrace some aspects of her culture. Another great example would be when Rolf went to Fatima's home for dinner and made comments that made the family uncomfortable (Pg. 79). That was a difficult situation to handle for Fatima. The most prominent example of Fatima having difficulty navigating her different worlds is the ending scene (pgs. 80-81) where Fatima states that she didn't know how to balance the equation of the code that she was supposed to follow when her two worlds collided, and when Rolf and Violet finally met.

Zaria Wiley

Sarah Rollins said...

The scene confirms my beliefs in a way that, it takes courage and a gentle heart to fully commit to yourself (as a black girl). Being a black girl and finally learning to love yourself is one of the most beautiful things. Society, has taught that our skin or us as people don't belong .So, to affirm within you is an amazing thing.

The page that stood out to me ;was P.G.70. It says "I can see I'ma have have to teach you a lot of things. You ready" when violet said this it was taken in a different context. Before the author confirmed otherwise, Fatima was ready to be herself and didn't care about the critics. Violet was the perfect advocate that she needed.

Omari Riley said...

I think this chapter highlights the streotypes that are placed on black people and how we are expected to act. Black women go through issue a lot because they are portrayed in a negative light by a lot people in society due to sterotypes. Rolf mentions to Fatima "It's not like your black black" on page 80. This stood out to me because black women should not be casted out of their own people just because they don't abide by sterotypes

Omari Riley said...

I think that page 80 really stood out to me the because it highlights the sterotypes that are placed apon black people especially black women. Rolf says, "It is not like your black black."
This phrase is said a lot in the present. Black women are expected act a certain way and have negative sterotypes put upon them. Not acting like the sterotypes does not make you less black

Raven Simmons said...

An important scene that stood out to me shows what black women face in life which is on page 74. Fatima picked up some theories on her own , too , without Violet or the Literature. The thing about the brown top lip and the pink lower one , Fatima had pieced together after what she learned from Violet and what she learned at school which was that you could either read them as two souls trying to come together into a better self. This scene show how black women wants to change themselves and not be who they really are. It shows how she lacks confidence in herself

Terence Smith said...

The scene that I think stuck out to me the most was the first few pages 65-69, when it starts to get into the book about fatima feeling like shes not quote on quote "Black enough" and on page 69 you'll see the quote "it's not that i'm trying to be white. it's just that's what i'm around." this quote stood out to me the most because this is one thing that not only black people as a whole have to deal with but Black Females.The way that you speak or talk shouldn't define your race everyone is different everyone come from different families and different backgrounds in calling people out because they don't talk like you or say the same words that you say or even wear the same things that you wear can make people insecure about them selves and that's not okay.

Rashad Pipkins said...

A moment that showed me the adversities that black women face was in the beginning of the book when she was speaking, yet she was receiving no attention as to what she was talking about. Following that, a black male began to speak and he was able to draw everyone's attention. That shows how differently black men and women are treated compared to one another.

Damen Ward said...

The scene that stood out to me the most was the instance on page 80 and 81. Rolf feels as though Violet is "not really black" and this is shown when he says "Anyway, it's not like you're black black". He completely disregards her ethnicity/race because of her condition. Just because her skin does not look like an African American's, does not mean that he is allowed to disrespect her like that. I also think Fatima is not a good friend for not defending her friend after the disrespectful comment her boyfriend made. Another point of disrespect was when (on page 81) Rolf says "Even your black friends are white, too. He now considers her a white individual. Rolf not only thinks she isn't "black black" but he calls her white as if she doesn't have a medical condition. His disrespect shows how much he truly cares about others and their situations that they endure.
- Damen Ward

Unknown said...

An interesting scene that stood out to me was on page 65-66 as Fatima goes up and presents her speech she gets a mild applause and when Willy goes up he gets a "hero" applause. I also find it interesting when on page 69 Fatima says "it's not that i'm trying to be white. it's just that's what i'm around." the people you hang out with and were raised with doesn't define your race as everyone was raised differently.
-Jonah Wolfe

Erin Myers said...

Mackenzie L.:

The first page is what caught my attention, when it had said " Fatima was ready to be full black ba ba black's I just remember feeling.like.that when I was younger. I was never " black enough" for my peers, I eaither talked to white or was to light skinned.

Janya Sanders said...

"She immersed herself in slang as rigrously as she woould... MTV Raps and The Parkers, trying to work her mouth around phrases with the same inontation that CountnessVaughn used..." ( Thomphson-Spires.71) This scene was important because Fatima wanted to learn how to be like other p]black people. Like she craved it and studied it! She thought by watching television and hearing how others speak on shows would help her fit in more. I realized how tv and the media does have an imoact on how young women and adults think, and it isn't always good.

Akuchukwu O said...

Page 74 really stood out to me. For a lot of black people, it is necessary to learn code-switching. It somewhat becomes part of their personality. I believe it's like a switch that can be powered on or off. It depends on the people around their surroundings. As for Fatima, she wants to make sure she fits into both crowds.

Unknown said...

A very important scene to me was on page 68 when Violet told Fatima, "Your like totally a white girl, aren't you?". Which really stood out to me because growing up if you look or talk a certain way as a african american, they automatically put a stereotype on you that your considered a white black girl.



-Jimmiela Patterson

Charlesha W. said...

A scene that stuck out to me most was the scene when fatima was told she was "black enough" i think this scene stuck out to me the most because it just shows how black women can't truly be themselves without being judged by others.

Erin Myers said...

Cicily L.:
An important moment is when Fatima went to school. This is important because she was a black girl in a white school, and that can be really hard for someone because they feel out of place. Page 75 the white students where talking about her lips and how that looks, this is showing that being in that environment would make her to start feeling insecure. Then eventually would make her want to change.

Erin Myers said...

Kizito N.:

When reading “Heads of the Colored People: Fatima, The Biloquist”, a scene that definitely stood out to me would be the on page 65, when Fatima is said to be reciting “An Address to the Ladies, by their Best Friend Sincerity” to her 11th grade AP English class. It was said that despite Fatima putting in effort to look her best that morning and honed her presentation to the fullest, the students still wouldn’t give her the attention she deserved. But shortly after her presentation, when a black man named Wally “The Wigger” Arnett recited his text, his reaction from the students was way more enthusiastic than that of her recital. It shows the different ways the white students in the class viewed black women as opposed to how they viewed black men, and the different levels of respect they have for specific members of the demographic.

Erin Myers said...

Abigelle W.:

The scene on page 75, when the people were talking about her top lip being darker than her bottom lip, confirmed my viewing of what a black girl goes through. I am a young black woman and I, for example, would be looked at by other people as having a stereotype because I have Locs.

Erin Myers said...

Lauren M.:

Page 80 was an important scene for me. I resonate with this scene because i’ve been told oftentimes that i act white or don’t act black enough. Fatima a young black woman in the story feels the need to act like the white people she worked with to get by.

Unknown said...

On page 68 when violet was like "You're, like, totally a white girl, aren't you?" That was important to me because it triggered me. I dislike when people say acting to proper or speaking a certain way is white. Are you saying people of color are incapable of those things? It's white to act proper like I never understood that at all.

Emyia K.

Erin Myers said...

Nikiyah T.:

An important scene was on page 75 when Fatima was being made fun of because of her top lip being brown and bottom being pink which is normal for black women. That is sad because black women should not be judged for being different especially because its not something that can be controlled.

Anonymous said...

something that has stood out to me during this reading is the fact that fatima was picked on for not having white features and she was also made fun of for presenting herself in a proper manner because the white students in her school didnt think that was how black people acted

Zoriah Mayberry

Janelle said...

A scene that really stood out to me was how starting on page 76 and so on how she still is not embracing her black side to her white boyfriend. Instead of educating him on some black culture she picked up she continued to speak less on her culture and her new friend violet but instead tells him about Emily and introduces him to violet in the wrong way. Especially on page 80 when Rolf told Fatima “anyway it’s not like your black black.” Instead of standing up for her community, because what he said was wrong in so many ways, she chooses to take what he said as a compliment. I feel like every black person will encounter situations like this but instead of brushing it off cause they “wont understand” take the time out to educate them so in the future they could educate someone else and so on.

Erin Myers said...

Devin W.:

On page 71, she mostly talks about code-switching. With us as black people, I think it’s very common. It seems like we need to do that as black people in order to get to the next level of success.

Erin Myers said...

Leroy P.:

Well for starters I would say that African American women tend to try to change themselves
because of society and their standards. Black women face a lot of challenges in life when it comes
to stereotyping and not having confidence in themselves. On page 74 "Fatima picked up some
theories on her own , too , without Violet or the Literature. This scene shows how black black
woman wants to change themselves and not be themselves. This shows that she has no confidence
in herself. It shows how anyone can judge you and make you feel less than, comments like that are
made often and it needs to stop.