Honky Book Report
3130 words 13 pagesMinority Autobiography Analysis
Author: Dalton Conley
"Honky" is the true story of Dalton Conley, a white kid, growing up in a minority community. The story takes place beginning at the end of the 1960's and concluding in the early 1980's and takes us from the authors early childhood to college. Dalton Conley was white, with a Jewish mother and an Irish/English father.
Both of Dalton's patents were artists. His mother, Ellen, grew up in northern Pennsylvania, the daughter of a dentist, and was a graduate of Penn State University. She was active in the civil rights movement in the early sixties and later spent time in Haiti as a volunteer. She is probably best described as somewhat of a …show more content…
He is a White, Jewish kid and as such, receives many privileges associated with that. On the other hand, he lives in a minority community and experiences, to some extent, the problems associated with being a minority.
When Dalton is almost three years old, his mother is pregnant. Dalton is very excited and cannot wait for his new sibling to arrive. Unable to contain his enthusiasm he kidnaps a Black baby and brings her to his mother while playing at the playground. His mother is understandably upset and quickly returns the baby to her mother and apologized profusely. The mother of the baby happens to be a member of a separatist organization, who lives in the same building and on the same floor as Dalton's family. She is also upset but merely glares at Dalton's mother with contempt. This incident would have probably been dismissed much more easily had Dalton and his mother been Black. I think the distrust among the races helped to fuel this situation and if everyone involved had been of the same race the situation would have been laughed off.
White privilege is a concept that comes up many times throughout the book. The first example was when Dalton is just 3 weeks old. On the 4th of July, Dalton is in the hospital with spinal meningitis and gravely ill. The holiday left the hospital staffed with mostly inexperienced residents and Dalton's condition wasn't improving. Dalton's mother is extremely upset that test results have not yet come back and