White Like Her: My Family’s Story of Race and Racial Passing

By Gail Lukasik
Foreword by Kenyatta D. Berry

White Like Her tells the story of my mother’s passing, my struggle with the shame of her choice, and my subsequent inner journey of self-discovery and redemption.

In the historical context of the Jim Crow South, I explore my mother’s decision to pass, how she hid her secret even from my father, and the price she paid for choosing whiteness. 

Haunted by my mother’s fear and shame, I embark on a quest to uncover my mother’s racial lineage, tracing her family back to eighteenth-century colonial Louisiana.

In coming to terms with my decision to publicly “out” her, I changed how I look at race, racial identity, and my black heritage.

White Like Her is an interweaving of memoir and social history. My mother’s personal story and my journey of self-discovery and redemption are told within a larger historical context, transcending the personal to illuminate the history of race and racial passing in America.