Race, skin color, with all its complex layers of disagreement and entanglement is an integral part of America's social fabric. For more than two centuries, we have struggled between embracing her without intercourse and condemning her inhumanity. We used it for profit; it was blamed for our misfortunes; they slaughtered each other for their right to enslavement, and they moved their bias from generation to generation. It is so ingrained in our soul that race has become synonymous with the word "America." Yet at the dawn of the 21st century, we cannot abandon our ethnic ties.
This real story, "One Day of Darkness," is not about America as seen from the outside, but about America from the inside – from within a child who saw things differently.
It starts in the early 1950s in San Francisco, before the birth of Fauna Hodel. The daughter of a 16-year-old white prominent California family became pregnant, insisting that the father was "Negro." Angry at their daughter's audacity and the stigma associated with a mixed child in their midst, the family soon arranged for an adopted baby by someone who was removed from their social footprints until they disappeared into the shade.
Jamie Lee Stokes, a simple black maid working at a casino in Nevada and her husband in common law, Chris Greenwid reluctantly agrees to become a beneficiary of this new life since "all the arrangements have been made." They travel quickly to San Francisco to retrieve the child from the hospital and discover that Mulatu's unwanted baby is a pink white with blue eyes – not what they expected as an offspring of an African American father and a Caucasian mother. However, the birth certificate clearly states that the father is a "nigger".
Chris convinces Jimmy to accept this "angel of God." However, she is quickly filled with resentment and overwhelmed by the problems of raising a white-skinned child in her black community. Jimmy begins to drink heavily and soon her husband abandoned her. Alone, poor and black, she is forced to turn tricks to provide for her child. Black women and their white child will spend the next 20 years suffering from extreme poverty, alcoholism, sexual abuse, pregnancy, marriage and death, all linked to each other and punished by ruthless prejudice.
The only world that I know is that the fauna is growing up is the world it does not belong to. She was a white-skinned girl in a black world with her birth certificate just to confirm her health. Racism on both sides dominated her life, but not her soul. Her only salvation was to find the truth about her mixed race from the only person who knew for sure – her biological mother, Tamar – the woman of her dreams.
Fauna set out to reveal the story that created this strange life and why it was given. Her search suddenly ends with a phone call from Tamar to tell Fona that her real father was not a nigger at all. After spending her life defending her roots of African descent, Fauna was shocked. Her life was a lie and now she needs to know why.
Her journey takes her from the backlash of Reno to the island of Oahu, where she finally met Tamar, which explains her decision to raise her first black child. "In my little world, I believed that blacks were made of things much higher than the whites I knew. I was embarrassed to be white."
Not satisfied with such a simple answer, Fona further investigations. Tamar reveals the secrets of her wealthy, powerful and dark mysterious family and an incredible story to the point that she makes her own fauna faint in comparison. She discovers that her grandfather was involved in a dramatic incest trial that may have led to her birth and the killing and maiming of many young women including the now famous The Black Dahlia case.
Meanwhile Jimmy's health failed. She can't let Fona go – not to her real mother, or to her new husband. Forced to check, Fauna returns to Jimmy. In the last hours, before the death of the old woman, both discovered that the knot that binds them together grew from their hearts and could not be undone by ignorance, prejudice or hatred.
One day she is Darken is a story about overcoming intolerance with unconditional love – boundless love, love that is blind colors.