Eve and Adam: The reversal of gender roles

W.E.B Dubois says “[Africans] simply wish to make it possible for a man to be both Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face” (Dubois 3). This quote seems particularly interesting when looking at Greeniage’s We Love You Charlie Freeman because I think this is exactly what Laurel and her family tries to accomplish. In the beginning she goes to her hairdresser and tells her hairdresser to give her a different hairstyle, one that can be easily maintained because where they are going doesn’t have any hair stylist that know how to deal with her hair. She also makes her younger daughter, Callie, cut her hair as well. It seems interesting because Charlotte, the eldest daughter chooses not to. It seems that the entire family depicted is trying to maintain some sort of their “blackness” (which I don’t even think is a thing) but also trying to assimilated to what is “accepted” in their new community.

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Finally, we have a reading that I couldn’t put down!

Obviously this book is embedded with race relations and racism and all, but I was immediately taken when I realized that the book was lead by females…Did anyone else notice? In all the relationships among people WOMEN were the reason. We start off with Laurel Freeman and her family moving out of their city in Massachusetts– Dorchester. First of all, it shocked me that the person driving the vehicle was the mom…usually if the father or male figure is in the vehicle he would be driving. Then the whole reason behind their move was because of Laurel who was the one that decided to have the whole family participate in a research project. Cool. Now we get to the facility, the main researcher is Dr. Paulsen  **ding ding ding** another female. Women and science? Whoa! Hold the phones there! I was shocked. I’m still kind of surprised and happy that Greenidge did this. Then we get to Charlotte’s romantic relationship with Adia—another girl.

I think it’s also interesting to note that the Freeman family is subjected to being in a research project involving monkeys….maybe this is me reading too much into this, but I can’t be the only one to have heard black people referred to as monkeys before. It’s also interesting to note that Laurel immediately treats Charlie as her child without even trying to start an initial bond…her motherly instincts just sort of kick in and allows Charlie to sleep in her bed the first night they are introduced sort of like how a toddler has a bad dream and then hops into bed with mommy and daddy… All in all the subtle details that Greenidge puts throughout the novel help to make this novel a masterpiece.



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