Writer reviews "White Like Her"
MON. | 02-21-22 | OPINION
White Like Her: My Family's Story of Race and Racial Passing, written by Gail Lukasik, is considered an autobiography and biography. The story centers around the author who discovered that her mother, Alvera Fredric Kalina, passed as white in the 1940s. She was originally an African American and hid it from her husband who was a white male. Once the truth was revealed to Lukasik (her daughter), it became something that she had to hide for 17 years.
After the death of her mother, Lukasik was free from the vow that she made. It allowed her to reveal the secret that her mother kept, being determined to die without revealing it to any. Lukasik decided to reveal the secret worldwide on a national television show called the Genealogy Roadshow in hopes of discovering more about her family's history. Before the show began, she wondered if she had done the right thing. She wondered if she kept the promise made to her mother because she went on the show after her death. While on the show, Lukasik was introduced to more about her family history.
I find it interesting that she never believed that her mother would have been hiding something such as her African American identity. I have not been placed in situations where I had to feel targeted because of my differences but I know that many do go through things like this everyday because of something that makes them different.
In my opinion, I don't believe it would have been hard
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for her to reveal to her husband that she was an African American, but interracial marriages were still forbidden in many southern states at the time. From what I read, her husband most likely would have accepted her because of the love he had for her, but that doesn't mean that his relatives would have. It is also possible that it would have been just as mind-blowing to him as it was to Lukasik once she discovered it.
It is self-evident that the book also introduces the topic of race and ancestry. I think that the topic was not introduced into the story as a way to create more disputes, but to inform individuals about what many would have faced due to unfair laws and disruption across the globe because of their differences. I believe that Lukasik wrote the book to share what she experienced and how her view on life has changed after discovering more about her ancestry. The book also can teach us to learn more about ourselves on a deeper level and our family's descent. The book was very informative overall and I hope that those who read it will enjoy it just as much as I did.