'Passing' for White Many light-skinned African-Americans over the years have sought to escape racial prejudice and injustice by "passing" as white, many times assuming a new identity altogether. Journalist and author Brooke Kroeger's book Passing: When People Can't Be Who They Are, documents many such stories -- including the life of David Matthews, who chose to be identified with the white Jewish side of his bi-racial family. NPR's Tavis Smiley is joined by Kroeger and Mathews for a conversation on the book, and the issue of passing.
NPR logo 'Passing' for White

'Passing' for White

Many light-skinned African-Americans over the years have sought to escape racial prejudice and injustice by "passing" as white, many times assuming a new identity altogether. Journalist and author Brooke Kroeger's book Passing: When People Can't Be Who They Are, documents many such stories — including the life of David Matthews, who chose to be identified with the white Jewish side of his bi-racial family. NPR's Tavis Smiley is joined by Kroeger and Mathews for a conversation on the book, and the issue of passing.