Reverse Passing

Passing is a term for a person with both black and white ancestors who encourages others to think he or she is white. I recall a blonde woman talking about her father having told people he was Greek in order to pass.

Has anyone really seen members of the black community excluding people who admit a white parent or call themselves biracial?
Reverse Passing? Kidding… Right?

Reverse passing is a term for a person with both black and white ancestors who encourages others to think he or she is black. The assumption people make is the “one drop rule” means a biracial persons’ people are blacks. Therefore the person is automatically accepted as a member of the community. Not so. Having a white parent is a major strike against someone. So much so to be considered black by those who are, one has to work hard to earn being called black.

I learned this lesson from my peers when I started middle school. I was not white enough to be friends with most of the white kids. I was not black enough to be friends with most of the black kids. Prior to attending this school, the other kids might see my parents waiting in the car or at open house. They saw an adult. At this school, my mother, a very pale skinned blonde teacher, was very well known as a harsh disciplinarian. They knew her and were greatly upset by me somehow disturbing the universe’s rules. My first week I was confronted by a group of black boys who wanted to know if I was adopted. “No,” was apparently the wrong answer. I got into a lot of fights over having a white mother. I became really good at volleyball and dodgeball because the game was almost every black kid desired to hit me in the face with the ball. The next year I gave up trying to be either. It just was not worth the effort.

Had my father been the teacher, I suspect no one would have cared.¬†Growing up, no one stared at me with Dad. People never questioned him whether we could possibly be related. The differences between my skin color and his, I think, is greater than that with my mother’s. Yet our relatedness goes unquestioned.

Yeah, I need to carry a picture of Dad and I together around in my wallet. I thought the middle school kids were confused by Mom. Airport security overseas gets way more confused with the consequences of me (not her) getting pat downs and detained. Maybe I can use my picture with dad as my second identification card so I can reverse pass?