two paragraphs

timer Asked: Oct 19th, 2018
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Question Description

Hi you have to write two paragraphs based on the below. Also, there are examples of ther students work

The concept behind our next work of fiction is right there in the title: passing. People pass when they join a racial and/or socioeconomic or gender-based group that they don't technically belong to. The word passing as a member implies they don't officially belong to that group and are hiding that part of their identity for some sort of social advantage. (For instance, a soccer player may "pass" as straight because the team doesn't have any openly gay members.)

For paragraph 1 in your response, discuss the concept of passing. Why might people pass as straight, white, rich, or as members of some other group? Are there advantages to that passing? Are there disadvantages? Do you have an example from your life, or someone you know, or from literature, who has passed to gain some sort of social privilege?

For paragraph 2, you'll comment on the context of the novel Passing. The book takes place during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s. I'm sure you already viewed that video (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. about Passing I posted at the beginning of the module. (If you haven't, please do so now :-)

The video is a good start, but it doesn't do nearly enough to introduce the reader to some of the things happening in America during the 1920s. I want you to find another source. Pick one of the topics and research:

  • Black Americans in the 1920s
  • The Harlem Renaissance
  • Nella Larsen (the author)

Your source could be a video or article, but you're going to share it with the class!

Once you find a source, write at least one well developed paragraph in which you introduce three key ideas you got. What does that source teach us about black America in the 1920s, the Harlem Renaissance, or Nella Larsen? What did you learn that might appear in Nella Larsen's book that we'll be reading?

Be sure to post a link to the source so we can check it out, too. If you use the author/speaker's words, be sure to quote them and give them credit for their word choice.

Write two total paragraphs, one about the concept, and one with some context to the novel.




The United States has long had the goal of supporting and fighting for democracy. However, the 1920’s and 30’s marked one of the most turbulent times in American history. With the past enslavement of African Americans, World War I and the continued fight for equality and civil rights, race became an essential form of expression for the African Americans. Mixed-race individuals in the United States enjoyed their acceptance as members of a different racial group, mostly white, leading to the concept of “passing.” This is the ability of an individual to be seen as a member of a particular identity group which in reality is different from their own. Passing mostly involves racial identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, social class, religion, gender, or disability. The major advantage of passing is the conferment of privileges and rewards for the persons involved. It also promotes social acceptance and helps deal with stigma making it a means of self-preservation in situations that are a risk to expose one’s true identity. However, passing has the major disadvantage of separating one from his/her true identity, family, and friends. It may interfere with the previous lifestyle and take an emotional toll on the victims. For example, Nera Larsson’s “Passing” tells the tragic story of a beautiful light skinned Mullato who pass for the white high society to avoid racial conflict. However, she has to forsake her black identity which leads to jealousy and eventual death.

The Harlem Renaissance refers to the literary, artistic and intellectual movement of the African Americans. The Renaissance was the most influential movement of African Americans. It spanned the year 1918 to 1937. During this period; (1) there was a pronounced migration of people from the southern States to the Northern States to escape the oppressive caste system in the South and search for better employment opportunities (Hutchinson). In Harlem, the black Americans shared their everyday experiences under the oppressive rule. Instead of engaging in self-pity, their experiences ignited a cultural explosion. (2) The blacks sought to break free from the stereotypes that marred their heritage by opposing the racist beliefs (Hutchinson). After a successful struggle for the abolition of slavery in 1865, it was time for liberation for the blacks. (3) The Renaissance also created a distinct racial pride among the blacks that was represented by the idea of the “New Negro” which transformed the African American social disillusionment to racial pride (Hutchinson). Through the Renaissance, African Americans had a chance to showcase their cultures through art, various scholarly works, literature, and music without fear of racial reproach from the whites. As a matter of fact, most whites started admiring black American culture. These artistic attractions that are presented in Nella Larson’s novel “Passing” which depicts two friends’ fascination with each other’s life leading them to abandon their identity and fake another one for social acceptance. Their racial passing emphasizes social integration and merit relationships rather than social segregation.

Works Cited

Hutchinson, George. “Harlem Renaissance.” Encyclopedia Britannica, 2018, Accessed 16 Oct 2018.

Larsen, Nella. Passing. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications, 2004. Print.


Passing, from my own understanding, means that people pretend to be something that they are not to receive some kind of social acceptance from the people around them. Some individuals may try to pass as straight, rich or just alike to everyone in a certain group to get a feeling of unity rather than feeling like an outsider. One of the advantages of passing can be the feeling of being a part of something and gaining positive reinforcement from it. Also, people can feel superior in some way because they have been accepted by the people they want to impress and not feel left out. However, because people try so hard to keep up with the image they put on for themselves and for others around them, it will eventually catch up to them. It slowly starts to take that person away from who they really are and become a whole different person. They start to forget their roots and begin to dislike particular things from their past because the people in their group do not like it. For example, I grew up learning and speaking Tagalog in my household, but was always told by my parents to not speak it when I am not home because they wanted me to live like everyone else. They did not want me to be at any disadvantage just because some people would see me as a child of immigrants.

The Harlem Renaissance was the beginning of African American influences on all of the arts. It started with the migration to the city of Harlem in New York City and it quickly became home to many African Americans in the early 1900's. One of the major impacts that occurred during this era were their musical influences like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington and it quickly became popular with their white audiences as well. People began to express themselves freely in this time which led to a change in their wardrobe. Men began to wear zoot suits and women began to dress like flappers, but still kept in touch with their roots by wearing leopard print as a way to represent their traditional African garb. The spark of this era began to introduce the new image of African Americans as a group of talented intellectuals and not as the "uneducated farmers" that they used to be. I have a feeling that in Nella Larsen's book we will be seeing how the Harlem Renaissance has influenced this new era for African Americans as they move away from slavery and we will see how vibrant they have become and how they try to fit in with white people to come to some kind of social acceptance.

Works cited (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Tutor Answer

School: UT Austin

Hey again! Please find attached. Let me know if you need edits.

Running Head: PASSING





Black Americans in the 1920s went through a lot of suffering and this was because of the
massive racial discrimination that existed in the world at the time. People always though that the
black community was the inferior race. With regard to the concept of racism, it is essential to
note that there is the aspect of passing where someone may pass as...

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awesome work thanks

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