September 2011

Free Pass

Passing for an Ethnicity that is Not Your Own

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Almost 29 years ago, little girl was born to a white mother and black father. The maternal grandmother told her daughter that if the child came out “any other shade than white” she did not want a relationship with either of them. “Luckily” for all three of them, the child came out white. At twelve I learned of this and ceased all contact with my grandmother.

I have learned a great many things about my black heritage; things I was not afforded the opportunity to learn while growing up. One of the more fascinating aspects of my unknown heritage is the ability to pass. Passing is something I have the ability to do well as I have a very fair complexion.