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First Name Basis Podcast

Mar 15, 2022

“White passing” and “white presenting” are terms you’ve probably heard before when people are talking about being multi-racial, but what do they even mean? And where did they come from?  

I talked to Dr. Gabriel Cruz, a lecturer in the communications studies department at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, about this topic.


Dr. Gabriel A. Cruz received his Ph.D. From Bowling Green State University and focuses his research on intersectional critical race analysis of popular culture as well as white nationalist rhetoric. His work appears in multiple books and journals, as well as his pop-culture podcast “Office Hours With Dr. C.


I came across Dr. Cruz through the work he shares on TikTok (@dr._c) and Instagram (@gacruz_phd). If you don’t follow him already, you should. His videos tackle topics in a way that makes them easy to understand and easy to share with others in your life. I’ve learned so much from him, both on social media and through this interview.


In this episode, Dr. Cruz explains:

  • Where the term “white passing” comes from.
  • The difference between “white passing” and “white presenting.”
  • How to talk to children about their privilege as “white passing” individuals while also affirming their identity/struggle as someone who is multi-racial.
  • Where white presenting people fit into the conversation about cultural appropriation.



Ally Elementary


Parents have been asking for a practical, interactive way to implement the anti-racist strategies that I lay out in the First Name Basis Podcast. So on March 29th Ally Elementary registration opens up again! And we’re also excited to announce that we will be launching our new program, Ally Elementary Jr., for kids in preschool through second grade at the same time.


During this five-week program parents will work together with their children to create a culture of anti-racism in their home, and I will be there to guide them every step of the way. We will use hands-on activities to teach our children about everything from the untold story of how race was created to how they can disrupt racism in their everyday lives. I am so excited to watch the families in our community make a meaningful transformation and improve their communities through anti-racist action.

To join our waitlist and be notified when registration is open, visit


Diverse Book Challenge


It’s National Reading Month, and we want to help you celebrate!


For years, National Reading Month and Read Across America Day has been celebrated on or near March 2, which is Dr. Seuss’ birthday. The day has served not only as a time to encourage children to read, but as a day to honor and revere Dr. Seuss — which, because of his racist work and attitudes, is inappropriate.


The sentiment behind this celebration — fostering a love of reading in children and emphasizing resources available to help facilitate that — has always been and will always be important, but it is time to pivot in how we celebrate this holiday.


First Name Basis is here to help. We’ve compiled resources to help you and your kiddos celebrate reading with an emphasis on authors and books that encourage inclusivity and highlight diversity. 


Trust me, this is a resource you’re going to want!


Click here to get the resources sent straight to your inbox.



Articles, Studies, & Podcasts Referenced in the Episode


Dr. Gabriel Cruz’s Instagram account (@gacruz_phd)


Dr. Cruz’s TikTok account (@dr._c)


Dr. Cruz’s podcast “Office Hours With Dr. C” on Apple Podcasts and Spotify 


The TikTok video by Dr. C that inspired this episode 


Study “Passing for White: A Study of Racial Assimilation in a South African School” (1970)


Study by The National Bureau of Economic Research “The Fluidity of Race: “Passing” in the United States, 1880-1940”  (2015)


Stuart Hall, “The father of modern cultural studies”


Song Credit: “Sleeper” by Steve Adams” and “Dive Down” by VYEN