Caaucasia Birdi Summary

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In Caucasia Birdi’s surroundings have a tremendous effect on her psychologically. The type, or race, of people that surround Birdi have a profound effect on how she views herself and how others view her. When she is surrounded by blacks she view herself as the black Birdi, but when she is around whites she becomes the white Jesse. Moreover because of her light skin she can pass for either black or white, so others view her to be who they expect her to be, not who she is. When Birdi first arrives at Nkrumah, the black power school, she is treated as an outsider. Her light skin makes kids think she is white and therefore out of place. As soon as Cole stands up and says that Birdie is her sister and as black as any of the other students, they accept her. Since Birdi is surrounded by…show more content…
However, as the years pass by Birdi starts to realize something, not only is she passing as Jesse, but she is starting to lose Birdi to Jesse, viewing herself as white. Her old life was dieing. This makes her very confused and sad. Since she had started her life as Birdi and was most happy as Birdi she does not wish to lose that part of herself, but as the years go on, she begins to. Being Jesse is no longer a game, it has become her life. She talks and walks like a white girl, forgetting all that she came from. To Jesse the childhood language of Elemeno is gibberish, the dead Jewish father is more real than the black faded one. Worst of all, Jesse laughs at the expense of black people. Even though, inside, Birdie is shouting in protest, Jesse stays silent while her friends criticize and make fun of black people. She stays silent because she wants to stay anonymous and is afraid of people finding out that she is black. Jesse also wants to be accepted by her new friends. This is what really tears the two girls apart. Jesse who acts the part that hates blacks and Birdi who sees herself as black. This is when Birdi really starts to resurface. She starts to view Jesse’s life from outside the body they both
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