Gayle Pemberton

“Hello, Stranger”

What is so dispiriting about all this is that culturally we have not progressed beyond sentimentality – the default societally-induced emotional response – between strangers of different races. That sentimentality expresses itself in a variety of different ways: arrogance, fear, hatred, curiosity and pity. More frustrating, smiles are exactly what we would seek in a perfect world as strangers greet one another. But to be the recipient of a smile usually reserved for babies, at best, or for puppies and kittens at worst, challenges the potential for women to meet on grounds of equality and humanity.

Selected Works

Essays/Memoir
“Luminous social history, at once familiar and transcendent”
Publishers Weekly
Essay
Casual encounters between black and white women reveal deep and vexing cultural issues.
Down and out in Los Angeles, Pemberton reflects on family memories, and the only black character in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window.

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