Into White

by | Read by Adenrele Ojo

Published by Listening Library

LaToya Williams lives in Montgomery, Alabama, and attends a mostly white high school. Toya doesn’t know where she fits in, but after a run-in with another student, she wonders if life would be different if she were . . . different. And then a higher power answers her prayer: to be “anything but black.” Toya is suddenly white, blond, and popular. Now what?

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AudioFile Review

Into White

Narrator Adenrele Ojo brings a strong delivery to this unusual story. In Alabama, Toya attends a mostly white high school, where she’s bullied by fellow black students. The establishment of this context is crucial, for the story quickly shifts into a fantastical tale. Toya prays to Jesus to become white. When He answers her prayer, she’s transformed into a glamour girl “as white as a Bing Crosby Christmas.” Ojo’s tone of misery expresses Toya’s outlook before her transformation; her tones grow more stilted as Toya grasps her new reality. Ojo’s portrayals of some of the story’s other characters—Toya’s pretentious parents, the shallow popular girls, and the aggressive males—as well as the racist comments contained in the story may make some listeners uncomfortable. This is a fairy tale with a gritty underside that examines racial and gender identity and self-image. S.W. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine

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