The Color Code
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.
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