Ep. 84 - Whiskey & Watching: "Passing" ft. Sophie Elizabeth James & Pearl Quick

Bourbon 'n BrownTown

30-09-2022 • 2 hrs 8 mins

BrownTown again shares space with Sophie Elizabeth James, sociologist and Unpaid Emotional Labor podcast host, and Pearl Quick, farmer, pastor, and poet extraordinaire, in the sophomore episode of our recurring "Whiskey & Watching" series. BrownTown and guests deconstruct, recontextualize, and, dare we say, decolonize popular films, TV shows, books, and more! This time the gang unpacks Passing (2021), the Rebecca Hall directorial debut (for better or worse) and film-adaptation of the Nella Larsen novel of the same name. In 1920s New York City, a light-skinned Black woman finds her world up-ended when her life becomes intertwined with a former childhood friend who is living as a white woman. The gang compares and contrasts the book to the movie, interpolates pivotal moments in the story and extrapolates what they communicate about survival, proximity to whiteness, navigating Blackness, and even the passivity of the very term "passing".

Full Transcription Here!

Sophie Elizabeth James is a political sociologist, project manager in the anti-human trafficking sector, and creator of the Unpaid Emotional Labor podcast. With a masters in sociology AND pop culture, she aims to provide nuance and levity to topics taken for granted.

Pearl Quick, hailing from the South Bronx, is an educator in soil science, disease ecology, genetics, and faith formation from Sarah Lawrence & Princeton University. Pearl created ‘Many Soils,’ a farming space where Black and brown youth come to learn how to decolonize their palates, look at the physical world, and grow food for themselves, their families, and their communities outside of the white gaze.

CREDITS: Intro soundbite and episode photo from Passing. Audio engineered by Kiera Battles. Originally recorded June 2022.


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