December 9, 2007
: Author Dave Matthews has a new book called Ace Of Spades
where he tells the story of how he “passed” as White for nearly 20 years. Here’s a synopsis of the book:
When David Matthews’s mother abandoned him as an infant, she left him with white skin and the rumor that he might be half Jewish. For the next twenty years, he remained torn between his actual life in the ghetto of 1980’s Baltimore and the world of white privilege he imagined. While his father, a black activist who counted Malcolm X among his friends, worked long hours as a managing editor at the Baltimore Afro-American, Matthews spent his early years escaping his father’s new wife—a blond, blue-eyed young hippie with leftist leaning and a mean right hook—and nursing an eleven-hour-a-day TV habit alongside his grandmother at the old folks’ home.
Forced to choose between black and white, he took what seemed to him the path of least resistance: he adopted the snarky persona of his well-to-do Jewish classmates, whose lives seemed so much easier than his own. Trouble was, outside of Woody Allen films and The Ten Commandments, he had no idea what being Jewish meant. And when his father moved them into a dilapidated house in the heart of the ghetto, Matthews’s light skin was no longer an easy way out: it was a liability. Haunting his every misadventure, from cross-burning to drug-deals gone awry, was his helplessness to forget the mother he never knew.
Wow, you can barely see the Black in him…