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Stateside Podcast: "Passing:" Narratives of Black Americans, Living as White

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Professor Sandra Gunning talks about cultural references to passing in America, and the contexts that have caused this narrative to recur, across the centuries.

For a Black person in the 19th century or the first half of the 20th, "passing" meant living part or all of your life as non-Black. Literature, films and other cultural references to passing have been around for a long time. But recent works like Rebecca Hall’s film adaptation of Nella Larsen’s book, Passing, have brought the idea of passing back to the forefront. Today on the podcast, we talk about the contexts that have caused this narrative to recur, across the centuries.

GUEST: 

Sandra Gunning, professor, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan

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Stateside’s theme music is by 14KT.

Additional music by Blue Dot Sessions.

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Erin Allen comes to Michigan Radio as a new producer for the station’s Stateside show. She is an experienced communicator driven by her curiosity about stories of people.