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Neo-PassingPerforming Identity after Jim Crow$
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Mollie Godfrey and Vershawn Ashanti Young

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780252041587

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252041587.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

The Neo-Passing Narrative

The Neo-Passing Narrative

(p.1) Introduction The Neo-Passing Narrative

Mollie Godfrey

Vershawn Ashanti Young

University of Illinois Press

This introduction defines neo-passing by contextualizing the term not only in relation to classic passing narratives and scholarship on passing but also in relation to broad notions of performance, pretending, and identifying. The editors also connect their effort to delineate a genre of neo-passing narratives to recent scholarly efforts to define neo-slave narratives and neo-segregation narratives. Like those genres, neo-passing narratives mediate between historical and contemporary notions of racial and intersectional injustice. Using several recent case studies, the introduction explores the ways in which neo-passing narratives speak directly to the contradictions within contemporary debates about colorblindness and color-consciousness, or what one contributor calls the debate between postracialism and most-racialism. Finally, the introduction briefly describes each essay in the volume, emphasizing its engagement in a vigorous debate about the specific ways in which neo-passing narratives alternatively shore up, deconstruct, or complicate our understanding of performance and identity production after Jim Crow.

Keywords:   passing, neo-passing, performance, identity, intersectionality, postracial, colorblind, post–Jim Crow, new millennium, Rachel Dolezal, Andrea Smith, Shaun King

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