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Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology

This study guide will help you analyze the short story “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology” by Nafissa Thompson-Spires. You can also find a summary of the text, as well as inspiration for interpreting it and putting it into perspective

Presentation of the text

Title: “Heads of the Colored People: Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology” (2018)
Author: Nafissa Thompson-Spires
Genre: Short story

Nafissa Thompson-Spires (b. 1983) is an African-American writer with a PhD in Creative Writing from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2018, Thompson-Spires published her debut collection of short stories entitled Heads of the Colored People, which has been translated into several languages.

Excerpt

Below, you can read an excerpt from our study guide:

Symbols

The costumes that Riley and Paris wear are symbols of their wish to escape. Alternatively, they are also symbolic of their desire to be seen for who they are. Both Riley and Paris enjoy exploring the characters that they dress as, probably because it offers them a certain kind of freedom that their own identities lack. 

The song “Say My Name” that Paris likes to hum ties to her ... 

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Four Fancy Sketches, Two Chalk Outlines, and No Apology

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