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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For National History Day contestants. Upcoming — January 30: Iona College. February 4: Sagamore Hill. March 27: Ephemera Society of America. April 4: Avon-on-Sea Public Library, Avon CT June 4-6: “Métiers et professions des médias (XVIIIe-XXIe siècles),” Université de Lausanne. Link to past appearances.
Coming March 2020: Front Pages, Front Lines: Media and the Fight for Women’s Suffrage, Linda Steiner, Carolyn Kitch, Brooke Kroeger, eds.