Cornbread and Dim Sum
Cornbread and Dim Sum is an autobiography of a black woman who marries a Chinese man during the height of the Civil Rights movement. After two failed marriages (both to African American men) Ms. Sue is a single mother working in the Post Office when she is asked out by a fellow coworker who is Chinese American named Frank Sue. At first she thinks to decline but on second thought she decides to take him up on the date which begins their 40 year romance.
While dating the Ms. Sue encounters racism from her black male co-workers and her black female landlady. It was the impending eviction from her landlady that was the catalyst for the elopement of the Sues. Ms. Sue also had to deal with racial barriers with her in-laws which she always didn’t understand and sometimes feared didn’t like her because of her race and color.
The book does have a few problems, like the way her daughter Khedda from her 2nd marriage is at one moment a shy girl and then the next moment a rebellious pro-black teen who drops a bomb on her parents three weeks after her high school graduation. Ms. Sue tries to set up the story but in a way I feel let down from it. I guess I’m looking for more since I am in a similar situation (although my daughter is now past the high school graduation age). But as a black woman with a monoracial black daughter who decides to add to the family biracial children (either mixed with white, Asian or Latino) I can respect the the issues Ms. Sue went through, which is why I would want to know more. How does one have two daughters positioned at two different color spectrums and raise them to feel comfortable in their own skin and beauty when the American culture will want to pit them against one another?
One thing that definitely comes through in the book is how the Sues cherish one another. Ms. Sue was able to advance far with the postal service and she cites it was her husbands love and devotion that helped her to succeed.
“Ever supportive of me, never competitive, no matter how disturbed he might be about this move, he would eat his soup and keep our home a safe place for our relationship.” pg 275
I think that was the main point of Ms. Sue’s book, how her relationship with her strong silent husband became the well that she drew from. Many times in the book she cited her fear, worry or disappointment but when she looked to Frank he quelled the uncertainty that was rising in her.
I think women who are in AM/BF relationships would love to read this book because it shows what our fore sisters have gone through before us. I can’t fathom encountering some of the things that Ms. Sue has gone through.
The book can be purchased from Amazon.com or from Ms. Sue’s website. Proceeds from the book will be donated to help fight leiomyosarcoma cancer. The Sue’s youngest daughter Candace was diagnosed with the condition.