I’m DownA Memoir Mishna Wolff
Quotes • “ I was a honky. I couldn’t dance. I couldn’t sing…I didn’t have great stories that started with “We was at…” and ended with”…I told her not to make me take my earrings off! ” (Pg. 4) • As a little girl, Mishna was okay with the fact that she was white. She found it hard to fit in with the black kids in the neighborhood, and as much as her dad pushed her to fit in, she couldn’t. And wished that her family acted like normal white people. The quote she says is a stereotype of how some black people talk. • “Maybe if I come back every summer and really practice capping…I could be the best. Maybe I could even find a way to cap for a living?” (Pg.32) • When Mishna’s dad signed her and her little sister up at a summer program, she was teased for being “so white they had to wear shades inside”. She then learned the art of “capping”, or making mean but funny jokes about someone. She later realized she couldn’t use this skill around the “preppy white kids” at her all white school, because they thought it was stupid and insulting. • “I just want to have a lucrative anesthesia practice like all my friends. And at this rate, I cant see that happening!” (Pg. 191) • Mishna is fed up with the fact that out of all of her friends, she is the poorest, less fortunate one of the group. While they go on trips to Europe and live in houses on the sea, Mishna lives in a poor black neighborhood, and she is determined to have a life where she is “financially stable”. This quote shows that Mishna would rather be like her white rich friends other than her neighborhood friends.
The sweet beats “I walked back into the TV room…once again, the Sweet Beats were rehearsing. “Push It” was playing for the fifteenth time that night…Dad got up off the couch and started shaking his hips to the music”. (Pg. 105) The Sweet Beats, was the name of Mishna's little sister Anora, dance group made up of her and a few friends.
Growing up in a low/middle class black neighborhood, Mishna Wolff tries to find acceptance. She is white, her sister is white, her family is white. Her father, who thinks he is black, tries to get Mishna to do the same thing. She is teased cause she doesn’t fit in at all, and after she is sent to a all white advanced school at 7 years old, she starts to notice the difference between black and white people, and rich and poor.