Published amid controversy in 1926, Flight focuses on the dilemma of Mimi Daquin, a light-complexioned African American woman who passes, for a time, as white. In the New Orleans of her birth, Mimi never encountered the hierarchies of skin color that existed elsewhere. But when her family moves to Atlanta, she embarks on a lifelong lesson about what it really means to belong to a people. From the Atlanta riot of 1906 to her shameful expulsion from black bourgeois society because of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, to her working-class status in Philadelphia and Harlem, Mimi eventually decides to escape her miseries by passing for white in New York City. There, her success exceeds her expectations but even so cannot quell a recurrent yearning.