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We Wear the Mask

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We Wear the Mask: Sergio Troncoso Goodreads Author Contributor. Why do people pass? Fifteen writers reveal their experiences with passing. We Wear the Mask, edited by Brando Skyhorse and Lisa Page, is an illuminating and timely anthology that examines the complex reality of passing in America. Sky Why do people pass?

Skyhorse, a Mexican American, writes about how his mother passed him as an American Indian before he learned who he really is. The anthology includes writing from Gabrielle Bellot, who shares the disquieting truths of passing as a woman after coming out as trans, and MG Lord, who, after the murder of her female lover, embraced heterosexuality.

Paperback , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about We Wear the Mask , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 13, Jan Rice rated it liked it Shelves: The author Marc Fitten had an essay in my local paper's "Personal Journeys" Sunday feature about discovering he has a half-Chinese great-grandfather. At the time I read his essay, I didn't recall that he was a novelist or in fact that I'd heard him give a book talk around nine years ago.

The article in the paper mentioned the essay was included in a book of similar essays about passing. Maybe the book, We Wear the Mask , would be insightful--and it was already in the library! My favorites The one a The author Marc Fitten had an essay in my local paper's "Personal Journeys" Sunday feature about discovering he has a half-Chinese great-grandfather.

My favorites The one about the white-looking black guy who retired back into "Negroland. It was not without cost but unlike those stories in which the passer disappears forever. Another sort of cost was that his family looked down on his career choice, traveling salesman, as being too low to have made it all worthwhile. The ones that explored ambiguity The woman whose mother was white in Cuba but in the US was black, yet, dreaming of fitting in, always insisted she was white.

On her father's side there were secret Jews from fifteenth-century Spain. Later, living in Hawaii, the essayist found nothing was the same. Hispanics were of two types there, conquered or conqueror. Puerto Rican means hardworking, conscientious. Puerto Ricans had been brought in to labor in the cane with the Japanese, Chinese, and Polynesians.

The Spanish and Portuguese, on the other hand, had had a minor imperial role in Hawaii, which makes them white by default. She found "Cuban," which she was, meaningless in Hawaiian eyes. She could insist on her otherness all day long, but there she was destined to be white. The writer's mother who was always unambiguously black but who was lighter than some of the white neighbors. It was not all about skin color. This was from an author whose family hadn't settled in Atlanta or New Orleans, where the one-drop rule would have decided things once and for all, but had moved around and settled in places where there were many hues and ethnicities, Staten Island, for one.

Very young, the essayist began passing as Puerto Rican. That's what people assumed, and she intuited Puerto Rican was a step up from Negro. The one that talked about how in the past one might position oneself as a member of an exotic brown culture rather than an ordinary reviled American Negro. The chapter on economic passing--"Class Acts"--ran the gamut from Gatsby to poverty snobs.

That she couldn't handle, but they had two more before divorcing. For her, passing as someone without a black ex-husband and interracial children meant negating those children. There is gay passing and trans passing and the blond, freckled Jewish woman who would announce she was a Jew to stave off the antisemitic comments she'd otherwise hear.

There are felicitous phrases like "inner chameleon," provocative ones such as "cultural mulatto. In the book, sometimes the concept of passing is interpreted narrowly and sometimes broadly, but the general assumption is that there is a "white" group or other dominant group among whom issues such as these do not occur. That I'm not sure of. It strikes me that in today's world, no one is quite sure where he or she belongs while assuming the other guy is sure , which makes us more susceptible to pressures toward conformity.

Everything is in flux; you make a move and find the options have changed. They say no amount of riches or success will bring happiness or, maybe, inner peace. Look at Trump--is he secure in himself? Back in an old psychology professor of mine wrote a book called The Impostor Phenomenon: Around I read the novel Ordinary Wolves , about a blond child whose father has decamped to Alaska, where eventually his mother can't take the experiment and abandons the family.

While reading this one, I kept thinking of other related books. Philip Roth's The Human Stain , in which a light-skinned black man passes as white because he doesn't think he can have a full-fledged career as professor of literature while black.

Incognegro by Mat Johnson about a black journalist who can pass for white during Jim Crow. The author himself fits that picture; in my review I linked his excellent NPR interview. Another novel is Tim Gautreaux's The Clearing. I also remembered An Orphan in History: Retrieving a Jewish Legacy , Paul Cowan's memoir about retrieving a lost identity. Virtually all the essayists in Mask say loss of one's history and part of oneself is a cost of passing.

Taking the concept broadly instead of narrowly which not infrequently happens in Mask itself I find that this hard-working concept of passing to be seminal. I am not even sure that the phenomena under consideration are limited to the psychological or cultural. The drive toward social adaptation and the pressure toward it coming from the social group as a whole may be programmed in as part of our self-domestication, with our conscious reflections somewhat of an epiphenomenon.

As individuals, we do what we can. As occasional observers of these processes, we sometimes become angry and judgmental at how people have turned out, which may make about as much sense as raising hell with a bird for the colors of its plumage. Save the energy for the out-and-out cases of fraud and deception that are endangering others.

I almost didn't read this book because the introduction and first essay are just too confused and judgmental, claiming as it does that passing is trying to get some advantage or improve one's life by "occupying a space meant for someone else. When we don't correct these ideas, either because we genuinely like the assumptions What about when our stereotypes coincide with those of the one s making the assumption s?

Or with societal ideals or myths? View all 17 comments. Nov 21, Ron Charles rated it really liked it. This is a fascinating collection of essays that explores the issue of "passing" in a variety of ways. The pieces are personal and moving -- often surprising -- and will make you see American culture in a new way.

Subjects include racial and ethnic passing, of course, but also sexual orientation, faith and class. Along with one piece about how we allow historical figures to pass. To watch an interview with Lisa Page, one of the co-editors and contributors, click here: Nov 17, Myra Reads rated it really liked it Shelves: I had never really thought about the idea represented in this collection of essays before reading this work.

I came to feel that these qualities were 3. It never crossed my mind that a person could choose to be one thing or another….

Overall, a good read. My rating represents an average of all the essays included. Sep 21, Ally rated it really liked it. For those who don't experience it, the concept of "passing" might sound like a foreign concept. But how does this work? Perhaps you remember Rachel Dolezal, civil rights activist, graduate of a historically black university, instructor of Africana studies, For those who don't experience it, the concept of "passing" might sound like a foreign concept.

She was believed to be African-American because of her appearance: A lightly tanned skin color, voice, and dark textured hair. In , she applied to be appointed as the Chair of the Police Ombudsman Commission in Spokane, listing her ethnicity as multi, including "black". During an investigation into her application, it was discovered that she was not African-American at all.

In fact, her ancestry was almost exclusively European for the past four centuries, as corroborated by her parents who admitted that she was a white woman passing as black. Rachel Dolezal, who legally changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo in , chose to pass as black, for reasons that have not been fully explained.

Out of the 15 essays, there are three that I found particularly illustrative. In the editor's essay, "College Application Essay 2", he ruminates on the college application process, and what ethnicity he should select on the application form and what he should write about for the essay portion. Brando was born to Mexican parents, but after his father abandoned the family, when the author was a toddler, his mother reinvented herself as Native American - calling herself Running Deer Skyhorse, and Brando Ulloa became Brando Skyhorse.

He was raised as if he was from a Native American ancestry, and both he and his mother passed as Native American to those they encountered. It wasn't until the author was 13 that he learned the truth of his background, and from then on he struggled with what racial group he identified and who he believed he was.

Patrick Rosal's essay is written in epistolary form, addressed to "Lady at Table 24". Patrick was attending that year's National Book Awards ceremony to support some fellow writers, who were nominated. Dressed in the required black tie, enjoying the fine food and drink, he's having a grand time.

That is, until he is intercepted by an unknown woman, when he is on his way across the ballroom to speak to a friend. We Wear the Mask. FULL access to essays database. If you cannot find any suitable paper on our site, which happens very rarely, you can always order custom written paper which will be written from scratch by our professional writers and deliver to you on requested time. There should be no rich people in the world as long as there is poverty in the world'.

Your research paper is written by certified writers Your requirements and targets are always met You are able to control the progress of your writing assigment You get a chance to become an excellent student! Explication of Diane Thiel's "The Minefield" In the first stanza, the tone is lighter, describing a scene where two boys are running through towns.

The boys race, the faster one being described as a "wild rabbit" Poetry Of Sound How it affects Poetry. I think the fear of judgment is why people are not always who they appear to be, why they are cowards and are afraid to be themselves, like I said before with the villain he puts on his mask to hide more … more being his true feelings, possibly fear or resentment.

The third stanza describes how judgment and criticism can lead up to these feelings with negative turnouts like self hate or being overly self conscious which may cause you to hurt yourself or commit suicide! In that case pretending would seem the right way to go and even if you feel differently why make yourself an open book.

A mask can hide your identity, it can make you seem different to others and in the end I guess we all can put on a pretty good mask! In conclusion, through figurative language, mood and rhythm and rhyme Dunbar makes a sort of mysterious, suspicious and surprisingly urgent poem. Reading this poem you will have to carefully analyze to get the theme of judgment using the mask to show the fear of being judged or criticized or rejected because of who you are.

Let us all just put on a mask!!! You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Twitter account.

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Analysis of "We Wear the Mask". In one of Paul Lawrence Dunbar's most famous poem's "We Wear the Mask," he describes the harsh reality of the black race in America and how they hide their grief, sadness, and broken hearts under a mask for a .

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Explication of We Wear Our Mask Essay example Words | 3 Pages And “we” is referencing the African American community as a whole and not one singular person. The structure of this poem is 3 stanzas with all the lines in the poem except Lines 9 and 15 in iambic tetrameter.

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An Ubiquitous Poem, We Wear the Mask by Paul Lawrence Dunbar Essay - We Wear the Mask, written in by Paul Lawrence Dunbar, is a ubiquitous poem that has a copious amount of interpretations; nonetheless, one of the most prevalent interpretation of the poem is that of Paul Dunbar’s background. Paul Dunbar was an African American . The We Wear the Mask Community Note includes chapter-by-chapter summary and analysis, character list, theme list, historical context, author biography and quizzes written by community members like you.

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