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Racial Passing

Escaping Whiteness

Jennifer Delton | Posted 07.13.2015 | Media
Jennifer Delton

Even without the burden of a racist history, whiteness is nothing to brag about. Culturally, it is associated with suffocating conformity and bland banality, the vapidness of suburbia and the joylessness of people who can't dance.

What It Means to Become 'BiRachel'

A. B. Wilkinson | Posted 06.17.2015 | Black Voices
A. B. Wilkinson

The timing of Dolezal's racial transition is extremely important. She benefitted from the inherited privileges of whiteness while growing up and through most of her adult life, then she later exploited light-skinned privilege while identifying as an ethnically mixed person.

Are You African American?: I Don't Understand the Question

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 06.12.2015 | Black Voices
Marcia Dawkins

A curious case of passing took center stage on social media this week. Enter Rachel Dolezal, the 37-year-old artist, professor and NAACP leader from Spokane, Washington who is allegedly passing as black.

Elizabeth Warren and the Politics of Racial Passing

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 11.26.2012 | Black Voices
Marcia Dawkins

When the votes are counted this November, Elizabeth Warren's racial identity will be less significant than the fact that questions about her identity persist as means of disqualification. Such questions demonstrate the ongoing problems of racial identification in the twenty-first century.

Barack Obama and the Politics of Passing

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 08.26.2012 | Politics
Marcia Dawkins

Is Obama passing as black this summer? If so, will he start passing as white come the fall? It's difficult to say, partly because we so desire the president's racial legacy to be one of racial transcendence.

Is the Tanning of America Only Skin Deep?

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 07.17.2012 | Home
Marcia Dawkins

Here's why you should care. Because looking at tomorrow's "tanning" generation in demographic terms only subtly promotes them as the chosen ones who can and will dismantle racism that took centuries to build.

Who Passes Into The Hunger Games' Future?

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 07.10.2012 | Entertainment
Marcia Dawkins

Some fans have launched a campaign to see that actor Jesse Williams gets cast as Finnick. This happens all the time in Hollywood. So what's the big deal? Well, to begin with the character's color, or lack of it, depending on how you see him, is striking.

Racial Passing and the Real Mitt Romney

Marcia Dawkins | Posted 06.11.2012 | Politics
Marcia Dawkins

The "Real Mitt Romney," whoever he is and for however long he's with us, reveals that access to reality is sometimes based on fiction rather than fact. He also shows us that identities are understood best in terms of the stories we tell about who we are.