About The Book

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Everybody passes. Not just racial minorities. As Marcia Alesan Dawkins explains, passing has been occurring for millennia, since intercultural and interracial contact began. And with this profound new study, she explores its old limits and new possibilities: from women passing as men and able-bodied persons passing as disabled to black classics professors passing as Jewish and white supremacists passing as white.

Already hailed as a pioneering work in the study of race and culture, Clearly Invisible offers powerful testimony to the fact that individual identities are never fully self-determined—and that race is far more a matter of sociology than of biology.


  • "Clearly Invisible is a thought-provoking analysis... that challenges the way we view race and culture in our society."

    —Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to the President

  • "Clearly Invisible is destined to become a classic. Dawkins's social analysis is astute, and she engages scholarly debates (the meaning of the Plessy decision) and current events (the newest iPad app) with depth and sophistication. After Clearly Invisible, readers will never see passing the same way again."

    —Margaret Hunter, author of Race, Gender, and the Politics of Skin Tone

  • "A lively work that connects the politics of passing with the most pressing contemporary issues of identity."

    —Michele Elam, author of Souls of Mixed Folk: Race, Politics, and Aesthetics in the New Millennium

  • "We are lucky to have rising public intellectual, Marcia Alesan Dawkins, bring critical conversations about the Mixed experience into broader scholarship. Her work confirms that an understanding of the Mixed experience is essential to understanding who we are as Americans."
    —Heidi W. Durrow, author of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky