An excerpt from Chopin’s 1893 short story “Désirée’s Baby,” about miscegenation, or the mixing of racial groups, in the Creole community.
“Désirée’s Baby” is the best-known story in the collection Bayou Folk, which Chopin published in 1894. Bayou Folk portrays the people of Louisiana, and the book received praise. “Désirée’s Baby” raises important issues about race and racism in the South. The main character is a beautiful young woman raised by a foster family who marries a successful and loving man, Armand. Armand is unconcerned with Désirée’s unknown heritage until their child appears to have black skin, suggesting that Désirée is of mixed race. Ironically, the end of the story reveals that Armand himself has a Black mother.