“Us versus Them” – A Thought on the Complexities of Multiracial Passing

“Us versus Them” – A Thought on the Complexities of Multiracial Passing

Multiracial Media: Voice of the Multiracial Community

Joanna L. Thompson, Ph.D. Candidate
Department of Criminology, Law, and Justice
University of Illinois, Chicago

Is this an example of “Multiracial Passing?” Photo credit: YouTube

Recently, a post on TheRoot.com discussed the challenges Sofia Richie, daughter of iconic singer Lionel Richie, faces in the fashion industry. As a mixed-race, half Black/half White individual, Richie presents more White than Black. Because Richie presents more White than Black due to her light-skinned complexion, she mentioned in the interview that many White people who work around her feel comfortable saying racist things because ultimately, they forget or do not even know she is also Black. In a world that is growing more multiracial each day, the topic of passing is more prevalent than ever. The topic also raises questions which have yet to be answered. How do light-skinned multiracial individuals handle the racism that exists around them, whether it is directly or indirectly intended at them? And how can people who are not mixed-race do better at not only decreasing their racist remarks, but respecting spaces where the presence of light-skinned multiracial individuals are high?…

Read the entire article here.

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