A mystery author uncovers the truth of her own racial heritage in this memoir of family and racial passing—as seen on PBS’s Genealogy Roadshow.
Gail Lukasik’s mother Alvera had a secret she was determined to take to the grave. Though she lived as a white woman with a white family, she had been born Black. White Like Her is the story of Alvera’s “passing,” Gail’s struggle with the shame of her mother’s choice, and her subsequent journey of self-discovery and redemption.
In the historical context of the Jim Crow South, Gail explores her mother’s decision to pass, how she hid her secret even from her own husband, and the price she paid for choosing whiteness. Haunted by her mother’s fear and shame, Gail embarks on a quest to uncover her mother’s racial lineage, tracing her family back to eighteenth-century colonial Louisiana. In coming to terms with her decision to publicly out her mother, Gail changed how she looks at race, heritage, and her own identity.
Foreword written by Kenyatta Berry, host of PBS's Genealogy Roadshow