** A Chosen Exile by Allyson Hobbs

Written by a history professor, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life looks at the sacrifices and benefits experienced by African-American who passed for white, from the 18th century onward. The author relies on historical accounts but she manages to convey the anxiety of being discovered, the pain of cutting oneself off from one’s family, and the sadness of the families left behind. From her stories, it’s clear that many families’ trees are a lot more complicated than they may appear.

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