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Today's selection -- from *Our Kind of People* by Lawrence Otis Graham.

 "Although I spent six years researching *Our Kind of People*, I could
never have been prepared for the controversy it elicited from various
groups upon its initial publication." So wrote Lawrence Otis Graham in the
most recent edition of his hotly debated 1999 book. In this book, Graham, a
Harvard-trained lawyer with an undergraduate degree from Princeton and a
best-selling author of 14 books, wrote of class divisions within black
society. In one particularly controversial chapter, he wrote
of light-skinned black Americans who attempted to "pass" as white. To do so
they often "divorced" from family and friends to help ensure that they
weren't discovered while trying to create a new life as a white person. In
one heartbreaking story, he tells of a black woman growing up in the 1950s
and 1960s whose father went to great lengths to hide not only his own skin
color, but hers as well:

"Unfortunately, there is a high price to be paid by family membersĀ­ --
particularly the children of blacks who pass. There are many stories of
families who have been polarized on the issue of racial passing.

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