Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Your Face In Mine, When A White Man Becomes A Black Man

Racial Reassignment Surgery. What the Hell is that? Author Jess Row writes all about it in his fiction novel Your Face In Mine. We've all seen African Americans who've worked hard to change their skin tones. They've hated their brown skin so much that no amount of plastic surgery seemed to be enough.

Michael Jackson transformed from Black to White before our very eyes. Latoya Jackson made lots of changes to her appearance. Lil Kim followed his lead and made major changes to her appearance. At times she can now be mistaken for White, Chinese, or a light skinned black woman depending on how heavy her makeup is. Sammy Sosa was once a fairly handsome black man, but he lightened his skin so much he now looks like a member of the Adams family. These are just a few.

However, in the novel Your Face In Mine the character Martin does not hate his skin tone. He absolutely loves being a Black man. He loves his brown skin, deep voice, and kinky hair. Martin loves it so much that he wants the world to know in the oddest way. He runs into an old classmate Kelly and wants Kelly to reveal his story to the world. It's the story of how he received racial reassignment surgery. He was born a White man and received surgery to become Black.

While racial reassignment surgery is made up, it is a very real procedure in Your Face In Mine. At the beginning of the book Martin describes it as a simple procedure. He describes it as if he's going to the grocery store to restock the refrigerator, except this isn't as easy as grocery shopping. Martin was born a white man, but decided to become Black. In order to fit into his new lifestyle he changes his name, marries, and adopts children. However, he can't hide behind his dark brown complexion forever. His story needs to be told and that's where Kelly comes in.

Kelly is a depressed man working at a local radio station. In the past couple of years he's lost his wife and daughter to a tragic accident, moved back to his hometown, and currently works for a radio station. Kelly spends his time either being depressed or talking to his dead wife. He's the perfect target for Martin. This is how the book starts out.

Kelly sort of recognizes Martin in the parking lot of a grocery store, but he doesn't recognize him at the same time. The Martin that Kelly last saw was a white man and now his appearance says he's of a totally different race. However, Martin acts as if his new appearance means nothing and immediately convinces Kelly to tell his story.

Initially I glanced over Your Face Is Mine in the bookstore, but then went back to it. After reading the summary, Jess Row, the white author jumped out at me. A white man wrote a fiction book about a white man getting surgery and becoming black. I'm currently reading it now. You should join me.

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