FilLit Series: Brown Skin, White Minds


In the midst of reading and writing for my dissertation I have forgotten some great nonfiction books that I would love to share with my Native Province pamilya. I also love to put a bit of diversity in my book reviews through sharing Filipino authored nonfiction books because they explain Filipino history and culture through the lived experience of Filipinos. This month I am reviewing the book ‘Brown Skin, White Minds’ by E.J.R. David.  

This book answers the pervading Filipino question of:

What is Filipino Colonial mentality?

This Filipino social and cultural issue is not entirely new, is it not? So why am I reviewing this book and sharing it with you? The reason why this book, for me, is a great read is it primarily retraces us back to the source of Filipino Colonial mentality and at the same time shows us the different ways Filipino Colonial mentality exists today. Furthermore, it gives readers a better understanding of Filipino society and a better understanding of themselves by using a concept like Filipino Colonial mentality. I for one was surprised to know how I enact Filipino Colonial mentality both living in England and back in Pilipinas.  

I would like to share my favourite quote from the book, a quote from Dr. Jose Rizal.

“…little by little they lost their old traditions, the mementos of their past; they gave up their writing, their songs, their poems their laws in order to learn by rote other doctrines which they did not understand, another morality, another aesthetics different from those inspired by their climate and their manner of thinking…degrading themselves in their own eyes; they became ashamed of what was their own; they began to admire and praise whatever was foreign and incomprehensible; their spirit was dismayed and it surrendered to…this disgust of themselves”

Poignant and very real!

Lastly, I encourage readers not to be intimidated by nonfiction books. They are as rich and alive as fiction books are and we can all learn so much from ‘them’.  

Until the next book review!