A History of Loss

Posted in Articles, History, Media Archive, Passing, United States on 2014-10-08 20:45Z by Steven

A History of Loss

Harvard University Press Blog
Harvard University Press

Between the late eighteenth and the mid-twentieth centuries, countless African Americans passed as white, leaving behind families, friends, and communities without any available avenue for return. As historian Allyson Hobbs explains in A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, scholars have traditionally paid far more attention to what was gained by passing as white than what was lost by leaving a black racial identity behind. Her book, she writes, “is an effort to recover those lives,” to write the history of passing as a history of loss…

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