The Feast of all Saints by Anne Rice
This summer I was emerged in the reading of “The Feast of all Saints” by Anne Rice.
Which is a provocative narrative that took place during the pre civil war in New Orleans. It’s a fictional account attesting to the lives of the “Gens of Couleur Libre,” and their struggles and decisions that shaped their history.
While reading the novel I had to reexamine my own encounters with colonialism.
I have always experienced colonialism from the assaults it inflicted against my national heritage, my sexual identity, my working class upbringing and my limited language skills. Yet I have never experienced colonial degradation from a racial context.
Growing up in Puerto Rico, never did the check box for race caused a posse on my behalf; I new that I was a white Puerto Rican man. Migrating to the states helped me face the limited access that I have due to my skin color. I was invisible to the norm that constantly render me as “the other” either because of my language or because my affections.
Having struggle through that experience, I had to relate how my experience compare to others and specially to the black community. And I saw that I still had the upper hand.
Yet having experienced being place in a insignificant status, I had to reconsider how I will go about assisting in abolishing those ideas that cast humans into a position of unimportance. How can someone be considered devalue because of their skin color?
To me any excuse to hate can infiltrate on others reasons for hating: say their place of birth, their family income, their religion, or their sexual orientation. Yet, why is it so grievous when it comes to the context of color?
It is because color is a physical manifestation unlike having an accent, in where if I do not speak I will not get easily stopped. Or when it comes to my sexual preference where if I do not engage or disclose my sexual likings no one will be so eager to cast a stone.
Race under the Anglo-European world is a screening device to exclude, to silence and to justify inequities? Inequities that can then be always justify by other incoherent reasons such as the place of birth, the sexual orientation, or the religious believes that might undermine the Anglo-European self of importance.
I do not think that Anne Rice set to unleash this debate onto the minds of her readers, but what she did instead, was to restitute a voice to those that had been silenced because of their color. She provided an alternative kaleidoscope of histories rich in humanity not only shaped by their color, but by a desire to better their lives; hence the novel of the “Gens of Couleur Libre,” in The Feast of All Saints.