From the founding of our nation to the Civil Rights era, many African Americans who could pass as white did so in order to improve their lot in life. And while this new identity offered increased opportunity, it also meant that cultural and familial connections were often severed. This hour, we’ll talk about picking between identity and survival with Stanford assistant history professor Allyson Hobbs, author of “A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life” (Harvard University Press).
Darnell L. Moore attends the arrivals at VH1's Hip Hop Honors at David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center on Monday, July 11, 2016, in New York. Brad Barke/Invision/AP
Protestors march along Florissant Road in downtown Ferguson, Mo. Monday, Aug. 11, 2014. The group marched along the closed street, rallying in front of the town's police headquarters to protest the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Ferguson police officers on Saturday night. Sid Hastings/AP Photo