Bluest Eye

Can you tell me about the situation with the family and race in the story?

Race and family quotes in the story

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The Breedloves did not live in a storefront because they were having temporary difficulty adjusting to the cutbacks at the plant. They lived there because they were poor and black, and they stayed there because they believed they were ugly. (1.2.1)

The Breedloves internalize black self-hatred.

I hated Shirley. Not because she was cute, but because she danced with Bojangles, who was my friend, my uncle, my daddy, and who ought to have been soft-shoeing it and chuckling with me. Instead he was enjoying, sharing, giving a lovely dance thing with one of those little white girls whose socks never slid down under their heels. (1.1.35)

Claudia revolts against the tyranny of Shirley Temple and white beauty.


Love, thick and dark as Alaga syrup, eased up into that cracked window. I could smell it – taste it – sweet, musty, with an edge of wintergreen in its base – everywhere in that house. (1.1.10)

Although the MacTeer house is cold, they have their love to keep them warm. (Aww!)