Help me remember an African-American short story

A former co-worker of mine has asked me if I remember a short story I assigned to a literature curriculum I put together for a class about race. Unfortunately it was years ago and I designed so many different curricula for that job that I am drawing a complete blank.

"the opening short story dealt with the discourse of lightness/darkness within the African-American community.

It centered around a protagonist who rose to some level of social acceptance, and then hypocrisy ensued, I think."

It’s a very vague description but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas. :slight_smile: Thanks in advance.

The only thing I can think of is Alice Walker’s “Everyday Use”. In the story, a lighter-skinned, high-falutin’, upwardly mobile, urban Dee is compared against her disabled, darker-skinned, country-livin’, meek sister Maggie. Dee comes home to show off her husband (boyfriend?) to her mother and sister, and on her way out of the door, asks her mother to let her have one of her quilts so she can hang it up on the wall as “authentic” decoration. Her mother tells her no since the quilts are for “everyday use”. Not for cultural appropriation, or whatever you call that kind of thing.

Much of Alice Walker’s stuff goes right over my head, but I do enjoy this story.

Not a short story, but there was an episode of Frank’s Place.

My friend, when pressed for details, said the story was about a man gaining status from dating a lighter-skinned African American woman. Initially I did think of Everyday Use, but he says that’s not it. Oh well. Thanks for the suggestions :slight_smile:

Chesnutt’s A Matter of Principle isn’t a perfect match, but maybe?