The Art and Racket of Passing

Raven
Cincinnati, OH

In parts of Eastern North Carolina the lines between black, bi-racial and Native American is blurry and sometimes nonexistent. I went to school with the great(x3) grandchildren of my family’s slaveholders. Our families share the same last name. Upon leaving I learned that my green eyes, light skin and curly hair were novelty to the rest of America. My southern accent is tissue paper thin, and I never really grasped African American Vernacular English (AAVE). People treated me differently; better. White men opened doors, white women spoke to me as if I deserved the tiniest morsel of their respect. Black men wanted my attention and black women reeked of envy. I could effectively be whatever/whoever I wanted outside of Halifax County; thus began The Art and Racket of Multi-Faceted Passing. Talk about culture shock.

 

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