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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: 22 September 2021

Passing Truths

Passing Truths

Identity-Immersion Journalism and the Experience of Authenticity

(p.142) Chapter 6 Passing Truths

Loran Marsan

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines how passing is used as an educational tool in immersion-journalism narratives of race, ethnic, class, and gender passing. It analyzes six texts and one TV series spanning 1961 to 2006: Black like Me, Soul Sister,Bessie Yellowhair, Nickeled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America, Self-Made Man: One Woman’s Year Disguised as a Man, and the reality TV series Black. White. While searching for authentic truth, passing becomes a problematic tool buttressed by narrative tactics of Othering, doubling, objectivity, emotion, and the reveal. This chapter addresses how these factors work together to lean toward fluid or multiple identity constructions before ultimately supporting dominant ideologies of Truth, identity, authenticity, and the “real.”

Keywords:   authenticity, the real, gender passing, class passing, race passing, othering, identity-immersion journalism, education, John Howard Griffin, Grace Halsell, Barbara Ehrenreich, Ice Cube

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