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Flight

A Novel

by Walter White

Voices of the South

304 pages / 5.50 x 8.50 inches / no illustrations

Fiction

  Paperback / 9780807122808 / April 1998

Published amid controversy in 1926, Flight focuses on the dilemma of Mimi Daquin, a light-complexioned African American woman who passes, for a time, as white. In the New Orleans of her birth, Mimi never encountered the hierarchies of skin color that existed elsewhere. But when her family moves to Atlanta, she embarks on a lifelong lesson about what it really means to belong to a people. From the Atlanta riot of 1906 to her shameful expulsion from black bourgeois society because of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, to her working-class status in Philadelphia and Harlem, Mimi eventually decides to escape her miseries by passing for white in New York City. There, her success exceeds her expectations but even so cannot quell a recurrent yearning.

"Often mentioned as a major text in the literature of passing and listed as a groundbreaking novel of the Harlem Renaissance, Walter White’s Flight may be one of the least read ‘important’ books telling the story of black migration, urbanization, and segregation. This compelling narrative with the unforgettable, feisty Mimi at its center is ‘must’ reading. Bold and nuanced, Flight illuminates the inner workings of racism, classism, and sexism by following Mimi’s search for a space in which to be black and female in a modern world.”—Thadious M. Davis, author of Nella Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance

Walter White (1893–1955), a blond-haired, blue-eyed African American, was a native of Atlanta and an adopted New Yorker. His other works are the novel Fire in the Flint and an autobiography, A Man Called White. He was a major figure in the NAACP for more than three decades.

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