Why I Passed For White

When I was 16, I started letting people believe that I was white.

In 1996, my family relocated upward from the Bible Belt. We moved from the southwest corner of Arkansas to the Midwest. At sixteen, I experienced a new definition of self — which, for me, meant shedding my ethnic heritage and the abuse that came with it. My coming of age was more than an exit from youthful innocence. It was an escape.

Read more of “Why I Passed For White” in Medium’s The Archipelago.

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Shawna Ayoub

Shawna Ayoub is an essayist, fiction writer, poet and instructor with an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University. Some of her work has been published in The Manifest-Station, Role Reboot, [wherever], The Huffington Post, The Oxford Review and Exit 7. Her writing explores the intersections of race, place and survivorship. She writes with honesty about her own experience in order to transform pain.

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  1. […] into the pond and still I see the ripples. What I have learned is to continue making splashes with truth-telling and […]

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