Cornell University Library

John Henrik Clarke Africana Library

Thesis Abstract


Erica Anne Fuller


A Shade of Gray: A Creative Exploration into the Bi-Racial Experience

Degree Date:

August 1995

Committee Chairperson:

Biodun Jeyifo

Call Number: Thesis DT 3 .5

1995 F965


viii, 302 leaves: ill.; 29 cm.


For many Bi-racial people of Black and White parentage, racial identity has now become a matter of choice in American society. This thesis project considers how one decides his/her identity by exploring the Bi-racial experience with particular attention to the combined influence of family, peers, institutions and society as a whole. Academic study of the Bi-racial person is often unable to capture the essence of the Bi-racial experience. Literature, in its ability to expose an infinite realm of unique experiences, can compliment an academic discussion of the subject through imaginative writing thus combining the best aspects of both scholarship and creative expression on this issue. A Shade of Gray is a result of this proposal: a creative exploration into the Bi-racial experience.

There are two parts to this thesis: the introduction and the novel, titled A Shade of Gray. The introduction identifies the commonalities and differences in the Black/White experience, it compares and evaluates the relevance of Bi-racial archetypes in fiction and then establishes the significance of using imaginative writing as a way of discussing the Bi-racial experience. The novel attempts to raise issues about racial identity through the life experiences of its protagonist. Combining research and creative writing, the novel offers a realistic representation of a Bi-racial experience and serves to deepen the understanding of how race plays into identity. Further, A Shade Of Gray is a response to the growing demand for the Bi-racial experience to be acknowledged and represented.