Kemi Adeyemi breaks down a shared laugh in Passing

Submitted by Whitney Miller on

ASAP/J, the open-access platform of the Association for the Study of the Arts of the Present scholarly journal, is running Black One Shot (b.O.s.) for five consecutive weeks during the summer of 2022. Edited by Lisa Uddin and Michael Boyce Gillespie, the b.O.s. series concentrates on the art of blackness. As they write, “We value the complications, ambiguities, and ambivalences on which the art of blackness thrives.”

In Kemi Adeyemi’s contribution to the series, “The Laugh in Passing,” she breaks down “probably my favorite prelude to dyke drama to ever be captured on film.” The scene is from the 2021 film adaptation (dir. Rebecca Hall) of Nell Larson’s 1929 novel Passing, well known for its exploration of racial and sexual ambiguities.