Don’t Play in the Sun: One Woman’s Journey through the Color Complex

(Memoir; Doubleday, 2004)

Marita Golden’s first memoir, Migrations of the Heart, followed the young American woman’s four-year sojourn in Africa, inspired by the Black Power movement. Married to a Nigerian architecture student, Golden attempted a life she imagined would be free from the self-oppressions of an ingrained color complex. But unable to conform to regressive Nigerian female roles, Golden went home with an identity crisis. Twenty-one years later, her second memoir, Don’t Play in the Sun, opens with a quote from Zora Neale Hurston’s novel Their Eyes Were Watching God: “Ah just couldn’t see mahself married to no black man. It’s too many black folks already. We ought to lighten up the race.” In the new book, Golden addresses deeply imbedded stereotypes to reach a greater appreciation of herself as a black woman.

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