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Sight UnseenGender and Race Through Blind Eyes$
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Ellyn Kaschak

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172905

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172905.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 17 June 2021

Talking Black

Talking Black

The Color Code

(p.111) 7 Talking Black
Sight Unseen

Ellyn Kaschak

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the “black or white” dichotomy as perceived in blinded and “sighted” worlds. The two main case examples for this chapter, Sonia and Susanne, are coded “white” and “black” respectively in the sighted world, yet by their speech and mannerisms they are coded in reverse by the blind. Sound, speech, mannerisms, and the like then become indicative of color—especially the politics of color—to the blind, even as many of them—especially those who have been blind since birth—have no true referents for many things taken for granted by the sighted. The third case study here, Gilbert, illustrates this paradox more poignantly as he, like many other blind people the author has met, insists on using a visual language, despite living in a world where the color of one's skin would not matter.

Keywords:   visual language, black or white, Gilbert, Sonia, Susanne, speech, mannerisms, color, politics

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