Honky Book Report
Minority Autobiography Analysis
"Honky" is the true story of Dalton Conley, a white kid, growing up in a minority community. The story takes place beginning at the end of the 1960's and concluding in the early 1980's and takes us from the authors early childhood to college. Dalton Conley was white, with a Jewish mother and an Irish/English father.
Both of Dalton's patents were artists. His mother, Ellen, grew up in northern Pennsylvania, the daughter of a dentist, and was a graduate of Penn State University. She was active in the civil rights movement in the early sixties and later spent time in Haiti as a volunteer. She is probably best described as somewhat of a "Flower child." Dalton's father, Steve, grew up in Connecticut with moderately wealthy parents. He attended college at a small liberal arts school in Wisconsin but never graduated. During his junior year, his father lost his job and business and could no longer afford the tuition.
Dalton's parents were the starving artist type and lived in a tenement in Manhattan. The apartment was in a crime-ridden area and they were robbed several times. The last time they were robbed Daltons mother was able to identify the thief and have him arrested. The thief threatened to kill the entire family upon his release so they decided to move. They applied for and were accepted into a new housing project, The Masaryk Towers, which was largely Black and Hispanic.
Living in a predominately minority community and Dalton has no concept of race early on. When told his mother is pregnant he is almost three and completely unaware that both his parents being white will result in a white child.
Dalton experiences being a minority among minorities and sees first hand how the cultural differences affect society. Living in a minority area, he attends predominantly a black school where he learns of some differences between the cultures. In school finds, he is the only student who cannot be disciplined with corporal punishment because black teachers are fearful of striking a white child and his parents are steadfastly against it.
Dalton's parents use some connections and the address of a friend to have him transferred to a mostly white school after a child molester is caught castrating boys in the bathroom of his school. There he learns what it is like to be white and finds the popular kids are tho...