Correction: August 21 at 2:04 p.m. EDT: An earlier version of this article mistakenly identified Rose McGowan as Rose Byrne.
Updated: Thursday, June 28, 2018, 5:32 p.m. EDT: Attorneys for both Russell Simmons and A.J. Calloway have sent statements of denials to The Root.
"'Passing' describes the choice to identify as a member of another racial group rather than face social prejudice,” writes Sil Lai Abrams in her memoir, Black Lotus: A Woman’s Search for Racial Identity. “Today the term is used almost exclusively to describe black people who consciously adopt a white identity.”