Debbi's Reviews > The Invisible Line: Three American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White

The Invisible Line by Daniel J. Sharfstein
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's review
Feb 09, 2011

it was amazing
Read from July 07 to 20, 2011

I decided to read this book because of my interest in genealogy, but the book turned out to relate three intriguing family histories that used genealogy only to provide documentation of facts. I knew that over the years "passing for white" had occurred more often than most people realized. I also knew that intermarriage was more common than many would have guessed. However, I didn't realize how society overlooked these events when it was deemed prudent or convenient to the community, (or conversely, often pursued the "one drop rule" out of pure spitefulness). Additionally, there was a lot of historical information that I either never learned in school or forgot since I could not fathom so much bigotry and racism. This can be a difficult book to follow since it jumps between the three family lines, but it is worth the effort. It helps to pay attention to the genealogy charts and refer to them often until the names become more familiar.

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