Passing (is) Strange … And Makes for Fascinating Reading

Hello Meltingpot Readers,

Hobbs' "A Chosen Exile" looks really good.
Hobbs’ “A Chosen Exile” looks really good.
There’s probably nothing revolutionary or even that revelatory in a new book out on passing called, A Chosen Exile by Stanford professor of American History, Allyson Hobbs, but still, I’m dying to read it. Why, because the very concept of passing, of leaving behind a life and family, shedding one’s cultural history and starting over with a new racial identity is just so fascinating. Really, it seems like the plot of a great mystery series, but in fact, as Hobbs suggests, it was so commonplace that the White man sitting next to you on the bus, just might be Black. Whoa!

For more information about the book and some sneak peeks into the lives of the people profiled therein, check out the story on NPR’s Codeswitch. And for some added fun, check the 150+ comments that come after the story.

Do you find the concept of passing as fascinating as I? You wanna tell me why? I’m so listening.


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