Essay Questions

Honky                   Dalton Conley
1.       Describe what Conley calls the racial geography of my childhood. How does he manage
social travel across boundaries which determine exclusion and inclusion in black, white, and
other groups? As part of your discussion, choose one of the following to answer this question:
(A) Is Conley an X among the Os? (B) Is Conley marginalized, straddling the borders of two
worlds but not accepted in either? Does he move freely across group boundaries of both worlds
social worlds managing benefits and costs? Is the management of movement mainly self-
imposed or imposed by others? Provide examples to support your understanding of Conleys
situation. See pages 110-111.
2.       Basing his observations on his own life and that of his sister Alexandra, Conley remarks, As
children, we had no idea we belonged to the majority group. Learning race is like learning a
language. What does he learn about racial distinctions? How does he learn about race through
the process of socialization? Examine the institutions of family, school and neighborhood peer
play to support your discussion.
3.       What does Conley learn about class? How does he learn it? Provide examples drawn from
institutional spheres of family, school, home visitations and neighborhood peer play.
4.       How does Conley learn about white privilege? For example, has Conley acquired cultural
capital through social and family connections, education, and the prestige of his parents?
5.       Conley uses the day of the hawk as a literary device. Briefly describe the symbolism of the

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