cover of book

Neo-Passing: Performing Identity after Jim Crow
edited by Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Young
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Cloth: 978-0-252-04158-7 | Paper: 978-0-252-08323-5 | eISBN: 978-0-252-05024-4
Library of Congress Classification PS169.P35N46 2018
Dewey Decimal Classification 810.9355

African Americans once passed as whites to escape the pains of racism. Today's neo-passing has pushed the old idea of passing in extraordinary new directions. A white author uses an Asian pen name; heterosexuals live "out" as gay; and, irony of ironies, whites try to pass as black. Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young present essays that explore practices, performances, and texts of neo-passing in our supposedly postracial moment. The authors move from the postracial imagery of Angry Black White Boy and the issues of sexual orientation and race in ZZ Packer's short fiction to the politics of Dave Chappelle's skits as a black President George W. Bush. Together, the works reveal that the questions raised by neo-passing—questions about performing and contesting identity in relation to social norms—remain as relevant today as in the past. Contributors: Derek Adams, Christopher M. Brown, Martha J. Cutter, Marcia Alesan Dawkins, Michele Elam, Alisha Gaines, Jennifer Glaser, Allyson Hobbs, Brandon J. Manning, Loran Marsan, Lara Narcisi, Eden Osucha, Gayle Wald, and Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

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