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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek


A story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman's belief that books can ...
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Discuss The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson:
What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Created: 08/26/19

Replies: 15

Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1946

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What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Cussy, who is of European ancestry, is shunned for her blue skin. What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynnw

Join Date: 09/01/11

Posts: 166

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Queenie’s color was something people were used to seeing. It was different and,therefore, not to be accepted as good as their color. Queenie also had a community of people who looked like her, Cussy didn’t have that comfort. Being blue seemed to scare people more than being black. They seemed to think that she could infect them or put a curse on them.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 122

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Prejudice in this country has been and is such an ugly strain. There is always some group of people to despise: Native Americans, Asians, Irish, Black, Hispanic. It's exhausting having to hate so many people. But for Cussy, because she was the only 'blue' they knew, it was especially difficult because there is fear with the unknown; even after finding the reason for the color, people did not want to accept her.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 373

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

There was very little difference in the way Queenie and Cussy were treated. Both were treated with equal distain. However, in the case of Queenie, the town people understood, you might say, their prejudice, she was different and there were "rules" in how they were treated. In the case of Cussy, they feared her color. They were afraid she might be a witch, that they might "catch" what she had, that she could somehow hurt them if they got to close. It was so much harder for Cussy because there were not others like her.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
robertaw

Join Date: 04/20/16

Posts: 28

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Prejudice is prejudice. They were both treated poorly because of the color of their skin.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
patty claire

Join Date: 04/05/19

Posts: 20

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

The people are afraid of Cussy because of ignorance they fear anyone that is different. Queenie is excluded because she is a black woman but they don't fear her. In the end, however both women experience prejudice and exclusion.


Posted Sep. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 192

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

They were both treated poorly but in Cussy’s case people feared her. They thought the blue people were evil and that they might catch a disease from just touching her.


Posted Sep. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elisabethc

Join Date: 07/16/19

Posts: 6

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

I think people are right on about Cussy being feared as an unknown. I would also acknowledge that there's a very specific and violent history of mistreating black people in the U.S., and that historical precedent has always made the threats and prejudice Black Americans face unique.

Of course, we only have Cussy's perspective in the book, but I like how the book opens up the subject of what the difference is between discrimination based on appearance (or perceived curse/affliction) and actual institutionalized racism of any kind—which has more direct associations with culture, history, place of origin, etc.


Posted Sep. 08, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 33

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

I'll echo what @elisabethc posted above.
We're talking about the fear of the unknown versus institutionalized racism.
Cussy's experience is born of cultural fear, while Queenie's experience is compounded by centuries of abject division and subjugation.

Would it be anachronistic and/or hypocritical to say of this community, It shouldn't be about changing Cussy's color. It should be about changing people's mindsets. I just read Dolly Chugh's _The Person You Mean to Be_, and I found myself applying Chugh's rubrics to both the Cussy and Queenie situations.


Posted Sep. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 122

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

All the prejudices that that blacks suffered were the same as the blues plus the added fear of blue skin.


Posted Sep. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marianned

Join Date: 07/02/15

Posts: 72

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Cussy is virtually alone as a Kentucky blue, which means she can’t look to a community of similar people to form a community with. Queenie was definitely a second-class citizen, along with Cussy, in Kentucky, but her situation changed significantly once she moved to Philadelphia. Prejudice still existed there, but its nature was different. No lynchings. Better chances for employment. Ways to get lost in the crowd.

Cussy’s color isolates her no matter where she is. There is no getting lost in the crowd for her; she will be the freak show wherever she goes. All eyes will be on her. How will she find a community—or will she have to make one somehow? Her life will be difficult, especially if she decides to leave Troublesome. The reader thinks about all of this throughout the book.


Posted Sep. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 235

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Prejudice is prejudice. However, Cussy's blue color made her an oddity and set her totally apart. She lacked the community and comfort of other "blue's." Queenie at least had that. The book deliveries provided her a position of acceptance and and welcoming with others. Her color was less significant than the service she provided.


Posted Sep. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djcminor

Join Date: 03/14/19

Posts: 36

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Cussy and Queenie have a great deal in common. They both experience prejudice because of their skin color. Queenie does have other Black people with whom she finds solace, but in the wider world she still experiences prejudice. Cussy is even more isolated than Queenie since she does not have the company of other blues. They find comfort in their friendship.


Posted Sep. 11, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 8

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Sometimes I fear it doesn’t matter what “difference” you present to society, an opportunity to exclude, demean, exert power over, openly and acceptably disdain, and be cruel is too great a thrill for people to pass up. It was acceptable to treat both Queenie and Cussy differently from others due to the color of their skin. However , it was , in Cussy’s case plainly demonstrated that it was not just the color of her skin that caused her ill treatment. Once her blue skin was medically treated at the picnic she was still denigrated. People treat others hatefully because they can. They have the power to get away with this behavior. They will as an individual and as a society continue to demean others as to make themselves more powerful as long as they can safely do so. It takes others , many others to step forward and demand it stop, to call out this discriminating, hateful behavior. It’s most effective if other powerful people in a society step up and declare the demeaning, discriminating behavior unacceptable and use the words to describe what it is-racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia. The people who tried to stand up for Cussy were not those in power. Just as in any time and any society we need our leaders to stand up, speak up and do the right thing and not be part of the problem or even more disgusting be the instigators of such hate as the sheriff was in the book.


Posted Sep. 24, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kkh

Join Date: 11/07/18

Posts: 8

RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

I was a bit surprised that Cussy was treated as "colored" because I thought of her as white with a disease. I used to take the same commuter train as a man who was actually green and always assumed it was some type of condition or medication. But that is applying 21st century thinking to a 20th century world so I think the author made an interesting point here. Prejudice is everywhere.


Posted Oct. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
BuffaloGirl

Join Date: 01/13/18

Posts: 64

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RE: What do you think the differences are between the prejudice Cussy experiences for being blue and the racism her friend Queenie experiences as a black woman?

Both experienced prejudice; Cussy because she was different, Queenie because she was black in a region and nation in which little over 60 years before her family had been enslaved by white people. Neither were seen as being as good as white people, even though those people may never have held slaves.


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