Passing and the Costs and Benefits of Appropriating Blackness

Published

Journal Article

© The Author(s) 2018. The socioeconomic position of Blacks in America cannot be fully contextualized without considering the marginalization of their racialized social identities as minorities who have historically combated subjugation and oppression with respect to income, employment, homeownership, education, and political representation. It is not difficult to understand why the historical reference to “passing” primarily has been associated with Blacks who were able to—and many who did—claim to be White to secure the social, educational, political, and economic benefits that were reserved for Whites. Therefore, the majority of passing narratives have focused on Black to White passing. This article departs from the tradition in the literature by considering appropriation of various aspects of Black culture and White to Black passing. We evaluate the socioeconomic costs and benefits of being Black and inequalities in citizenship status between Blacks and Whites. Furthermore, we examine the socioeconomic and political capital of Blackness versus Whiteness in an attempt to explore the rationality of passing for Black.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Broady, KE; Todd, CL; Darity, WA

Published Date

  • June 1, 2018

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 45 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 104 - 122

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0034-6446

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/0034644618789182

Citation Source

  • Scopus