Black Is My Favorite Color by Bernard Malamud

2470 words 10 pages
About the short story

The short story Black is My Favorite Color by Bernard Malamud is about Jewish-Black relationships in America similarly to several of his other novels (such as The Assistant, 1957) and short stories.

Bernard Malamud (1914-1986) was born in Brooklyn as an offspring of Russian Jewish immigrants. Along with Saul Bellow, Philip Roth and Paul Auster, Malamud is one of the most important Jewish-American writers. Black is My Favorite Color deals with prejudice in general and positive prejudice on the part of a liberal humanist in particular, as well as with difficult relationships between people of different ethnic and social origins. It's also about self-image, self-deception and the way people are perceived by others.
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Work in pairs.
Question to be discussed: Are there any racist or otherwise biased implications in colour symbolism? Compare your findings with those of your fellow students, preferrably those of a background different from yours.
Are there any religious or folk tale implications in colour associations?
Find photos, drawings, paintings and design objects with a strong colour symbolism? Relate them to your or a foreign culture.
Do some research in literature: Do you know of any literary works that have the name of a colour in their title? (Edgar A. Poe: The Black Cat, Wilkie Collins: The Woman in White, etc.).
Present your findings and conclusions on (one of) the above issues to your fellow students.
Outline the reasons why somebody should make a statement on colour and who/what this statement might refer to. You may write this in the form of a letter to Malamud, from the perspective of a PC (politically correct) activist.
Sketch your own story/film about Black is My Favorite Color. If you intend to write a story, you may be in charge of illustrations, too.
While-reading activities

Phase 1: Read the first paragraph, starting from Charity Quietness sits in the toilet, eating her two hard-boiled eggs while I'm having my ham sandwich and coffee in the kitchen. That's how it goes, only don't get the idea of ghettoes. If there's a ghetto, I'm the one that's in it.
The first time

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