I live the paradox that though my brown skin has excluded me from so called white privilege, all my life I have benefited from the plunder of privileged whites. From the time I read Thackeray’s novel “Vanity Fair” as a teenager, I have been fascinated by the character of Rhoda Swartz, the “woolly-haired mulatto from St. Kitts,” a mixed race heiress to a lucrative plantation, and real-life figures like her. Now I know why: Their stories are mine, and like them, I occupy the uneasy limbo between exploiter and exploited. I, an African-American woman, am every bit as much a “debtor” to my “race” as any descendant of John C. Calhoun’s or indeed as Georgetown University itself.
Susan Fales-Hill, “I Named My Mixed-Race Daughter for a Slave-Trading Town,” The New York Times, July 16, 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/17/opinion/sunday/i-named-my-mixed-race-daughter-for-a-slave-trading-town.html.