Victoria Foyt is the (white) author of a new young adult book series called Save the Pearls. The book chronicles the adventures of Eden Newman, a white woman, or a “Pearl,” whose entire race has been enslaved by the dominant race of “Coals” — or dark-skinned people. Hoping to capitalize off of the popularity of dystopian young adult novels like The Hunger Games, Foyt constructed a narrative in which, she explains, “Solar radiation has wiped out most of the white race whose lack of melanin causes them to succumb to the Heat. The survivors, called Pearls, suffer from oppression under the new majority of dark-skinned Coals.” In the new world, Eden must rely on Bramford, a Coal. As Foyt describes it, Pearls is “a Beauty and the Beast story in which both parties must find self-acceptance before they can discover true love.”
In an essay on Huffington Post, presumably meant to publicize her book, Foyt prides herself on receiving mostly positive reviews for her story. She marvels at the way Pearls‘ “interracial love story” is being so positively received by the audience. She writes:
Not too many years ago, I can imagine that this story might have generated heated comments about the sexualized fantasies about black men. And yeah, there was one. And having checked out that blogger, I strongly suspect that he belongs to a much older generation than young adults.
Otherwise, I’m happily surprised to say there has been not a blip of protest.
And while yes, it’s great that an “interracial love story” is received without protest (yay! progress), I’ve got bigger fish to fry with Pearls — and Foyt.
First off, while she may want to pat herself on the back for creating a story that turns on its head stereotypical tropes about the social value of whiteness and blackness, the very names she chooses to use say that Foyt may still hold those tired tropes dear.