November 27, 2003
By KAREN M. THOMAS
For most folks, “passing” applies to African-Americans so fair that they
could — and did — pass for white. Most would probably assume that no one
now bothers. However, passing not only still exists, it has morphed. The
author tells six modern-day stories, ranging from the man who hides his
black heritage to the respected poet who uses a false identity to write
about rock ‘n’ roll. Woven throughout are experts to help us understand
the whys. The poignant portraits leave you wondering not why people
choose to pass but, rather, why society hasn’t changed enough to let
them simply be who they are.
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THE SUFFRAGENTS: How Women Used Men to Get the Vote, launches Sept. 1. National History Day contestants, this page is for you.