Re: RARA-AVIS: Skinner, Salis, and Passing

Robert E. Skinner (
Thu, 21 Jan 1999 13:25:52 -0600 wrote:

> I would suggest others name crime novels that include "passing," but
this could produce a lot of spoilers.>

"Passing" is actually a common theme in many mainstream novels by
American Southern authors. Racial concerns in the South had long
dominated Southern fiction, often in combination with sexual secrets and
long-hidden sins of various kinds. Repressive "Jim Crow" laws that
remained enforceable through the middle of this century made passing,
and the fear of exposure a very real thing in the lives of many people,
particularly in families where there were light-skinned members passing
for white and other light-skinned members living openly as black. I
understand from black friends that such exists even to this day.

Robert E. Skinner, Director
Xavier University of Louisiana Library
7325 Palmetto Street
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 483-7303 (voice)
(504) 485-7917 (FAX)
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