Rad Reading: "Passing for White, Passing for Black"

by Abaki Beck

Text: Passing for White, Passing for Black

Author: Adrian Piper

Quote to Highlight: "Trying to forgive and understand those of my relatives who have chosen to pass for white has been one of the most difficult ethical challenges of my life...for me to make sense of this requires that I understand - or at least accept - their conception of happiness...what is harder for me to grasp is how they could want these things enough to sacrifice the history, wisdom, connectedness and moral solidarity with their family and community."

1 Sentence Summary: Piper discusses her life as a light skinned black woman who has experienced rejection and microagressions from both the black and white community.

File it under: Mixed race identity, passing for white, community, oppression Olympics, class difference

Type of Text: Personal essay



POC Online Classroom strives to make social justice readings and resources accessible - with particular focus on the knowledge of people of color and other marginalized communities. Rad Reading is a new series that will give readers a quick idea of each text before they delve into it. We will post every Tuesday and Thursday. This is one of the first in the series, but we hope to have one for every resource on the website in the future. Stay tuned!