Hey, White Girl, by Judith Bice
In the summer of Woodstock and the moon landing, a traditional Virginia town forces its Black and White students to cross the city and integrate the schools, unraveling the predictable white path of the Randolph children and the plans their parents had for them.
Nell Randolph tries to make the best of her first year of high school at a black school. Her mother is unnerved by the changes she sees in Nell and arranges for her to transfer to a private girls’ school. The Vietnam War is raging in the background, inciting fear of the draft for Donald, Nell’s older brother, who involves Nell in decisions that change the trajectory of his life. Even the stability of their church life is challenged when a new priest comes to town.
Hey, White Girl by Judith Bice is told by an older Nell as she traces the fracture of her family through the lens of Civil Rights. Her memories and reflections reveal she is only at the beginning of understanding the complexities of family, race, and privilege. The reader is drawn into the narrator’s experience and compelled to examine with her the personal consequences and responsibilities of cultural change.