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Color Blind: A Memoir by Precious Williams

Color Blind: A Memoir

by Precious Williams

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Showing 5 of 5
UK ; Nigeria
  kingselassie | Mar 17, 2011 |
Wow! What an amazing book! And what an amazing woman, to come through the ordeal called her life, to make it to where she is today.

Even though she was given up to a foster home as a baby by a mother who apparently couldn't be bothered with a child, unless it was convenient for her, Precious spend most of her life looking for love and acceptance from her mother. This book was at times very disturbing to read, I can't even imagine what it would have been like to live this life.

The author did survive this life and has gone on to become a journalist. More information about all of her achievements can be found at the author's website. http://www.preciouswilliams.com/

I read a ton of biographies when I was growing up and have gotten away from them. I have not read one for quite awhile. This is a genre that I need to rediscover. Reading about other people and what they have gone through makes me appreciate the life that I have and reminds me how strong human nature can be, when it means one's survival. ( )
  sschleicher | Feb 8, 2011 |
This is an extremely well written memoir that is by turns disturbing, humorous and inspirational. ( )
  CatherineGill | Aug 18, 2010 |
Precious Anita Williams is placed into an unorthodox foster care situation at just 10 weeks old. Her biological mother is a well-to-do Nigerian woman working in London who, seemingly, has no interest in raising her own daughter. Instead, she leaves her in the care of a couple in their fifties who live in an all white suburb of London. Anita is subsequently sexually molested, belittled, raped, and completely isolated from her African culture. The story of how she overcomes these obstacles to become a successful woman is nothing short of remarkable. However, while the story is riveting, the writing falls a bit flat. As a result, one fails to connect emotionally with the characters, thus rendering the book a bit dull overall. ( )
  tela1226 | Aug 9, 2010 |
Precious Williams is practically born into foster care. It's at ten weeks old that she's brought to Mrs. Taylor whom she'll call Nanny. Meanwhile, Precious Anita Williams will be known as "Nin" in reverence of Nanny's beloved literary character, Topsy who is described as a pickaninny in Uncle Tom's Cabin. This sentiment adds to the propriety of this seemingly loosely regulated and trendy practice She's placed with Nanny by her Nigerian mother via an ad in a publication specifically for arranging foster care. The practice was often done between the birth parents and the foster family while the former attended school in England. These arrangements were typically between African parents and white foster parents.

Precious' mother however, is not a student and is descended from Nigerian royalty. She simply doesn't want to be a mother. Yet, she maintains this inconsistent presence in her daughter's life for most of her childhood. Her complaints that Precious is "dull" and the taunting of schoolmates about her being "coloured" leave Precious floating aimlessly between two worlds. One world sees her as Nigerian though she has no connection with this side of herself and the other world is the one she lives in surrounded by white caretakers and school children. She feels thoroughly British but longs to have a sense of blackness.

Color Blind is a fascinating, though often heartbreaking, memoir of a girl navigating race in that she not only wants to find her identity as a person of color, but also who she is beyond the color of her skin. ( )
  browngirl | Jul 14, 2010 |
Showing 5 of 5
Gorgeously written with a fiercely honest voice, “Color Blind,’’ shows that who we are is shaped by how we are nurtured....Williams will grow up to forge her own identity as Precious, “the writer, the grown woman, the adventuress.’’ How she gets there is a serpentine road that’s as shatteringly moving as it is incredible.

“Williams offers an English journalist's wry, charming memoir of being a black Nigerian girl growing up in a 1970s white foster home in a village of West Sussex, England…. Her beautifully wrought memoir reaches back deeply and generously to regain the preciousness she felt lost to her.”
added by preciouswilliams | editPublishers Weekly
Precious Mettle

Precious Williams’ memoir, Color Blind (Bloomsbury), recounts how this London-born daughter of a Nigerian princess came to be raised by an elderly white woman in an English housing project. Growing up, she struggled with race and class issues, being renamed Anita, and getting raped. “Anita is the elephant in the room,” Williams declares, while “Precious…[is] the writer, the grown woman, the adventurer.”

“An affecting memoir about growing up in two worlds, neither quite comfortable with the other… the story moves along toward a satisfying conclusion that speaks to aspiration and desire. Well done.”
added by preciouswilliams | editKirkus Reviews
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"Color Blind" is the title under which this book was published in the U.S.  The original U.K. title is "Precious".
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Book description
Recounts how this London-born daughter of a Nigerian princess came to be raised by an elderly white woman in an English housing project.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159691338X, Hardcover)

Born in London to a Nigerian princess, Precious Williams saw her life change radically in its first months. Her mother, deciding she couldn't raise a child, placed an ad for foster care in Nursery World. A response soon came from a woman in rural Sussex, and Precious, three months old, was handed off in a basket.
Nan, Precious's new foster mother, was sixty years old and white, and prided herself on being "color blind." But she might also have been shortsighted about the difficulties her black daughter would encounter. At her all-white school, Precious was taunted and ostracized, and Nan struggled to understand her daughter's troubles. Precious's birth mother would visit occasionally, providing glimpses of a different world, but eventually turned critical of a daughter who had become "too white."
Retreating into her imagination, Precious forged her own identity. She emerged from the disillusionment and self-destructiveness of her teen years with a fierce resolve not to let circumstance, class, or color determine her future. Precious Williams tells her extraordinary story in Color Blind, brightly, bravely grappling with issues of identity, motherhood, and race.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:42 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

The biological daughter of a Nigerian princess describes her foster-care upbringing in 1970s and 1980s Britain, the ostracism she endured at her all-white school and her resolve to forge an identity independent of her two cultures.

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