In July of last year I read and posted on a short story by Dorothy Parker (1893 to 1967-New Jersey USA), "A Telephone Call".. (There is some background information on Parker in that post). I am really glad I decided to read another one today and I have no good reason for waiting so long.
"Arrangement in Black and White" is a searing look at the racism in the heart of a well meaning white woman who would have identified herself as a strong progressive in race relations. The entire narrative of the story is in the conversations of the woman to a friend of her husband. The setting is at a party for a well known black musician. The woman's husband refused to go to the party as he feels it is not right to socialize with blacks as equals. The woman's attitude is a bit more complicated but in fact might be worse as at least the husband is not in bad faith with himself. Here is a good illustration of that as well as an excellent example of the prose style of Parker.
Under the woman's patronizing attitude we find a vicious racist person whose sense of self worth comes from being able to look down on others do to their race.
"Arrangement in Black and White" is funny, wicked, and brilliant. It is totally worth the few minutes it will take to read it.
You can read it online HERE.
I will be reading more of her stories this year.