Earlier in the semester, we discussed how, to be accepted into the white society, many prominent black figures have had to compromise aspects of their blackness. We named people like Barack Obama and Oprah, who have had to “soften” lots of the statements they have made and actions they have taken when racial politics are concerned. They have had to mold themselves to be white enough (through speech, dress, associations) for racist America to be comfortable with them holding power. They are forced to be both white enough and black enough to be a bridge between white and black communities. As we discussed while reading The History of White People, the definition of who is considered white is constantly expanding. If people of color are exceptionally talented or good looking or successful, they can often gain certain societal privileges normally reserved only for white people. Is it their fault that they have to give up their full identity expression as people of color to garner a level of success that doesn’t force (many) white people to sacrifice their identities as white people? I can’t fault them. It’s the fault of white supremacy and domination. At the same time, I know many people of color feel a responsibility to keep their cultural identities current and with them, while succeeding in a world that praises whiteness. My mother is what many people would call “whitewashed” because that is what her parents believed she needed to succeed. And successful she has been, but not at the expense of her own sense of blackness, and ultimately not at the expense of black people as a whole. This is a balance that constantly preoccupies people of color, even those privileged with opportunities to enter into elite society.