“Anything can happen now that we’ve slid over this bridge,” I thought; “Anything at all....”

from F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (Chapter IV) on Rap Genius


Could Gatsby be Black?

The question is only theoretical; while Gatsby, based on evidence throughout the book — his large parties, his inclusion in society, and his enormous wealth — is most certainly not African American, he is directly related to these “three modish negroes.” A better-posed question would be, How is Gatsby’s situation similar to an African American’s?

In a period of severe racism, with a clear reversal of social norms, a “white chauffeur” is driving around African Americans in a “limousine.” Evidently, these African Americans have somehow fallen upon a significant degree of wealth and prosperity. They are, in a sense, the quintessential example of the “American Dream” since their money and success is as “new” as physically possible.

The ultimate rise of African Americans, demonstrating that “anything can happen,” apparently correlates to Gatsby’s own success, which Nick indicates when he relates, mirroring the earlier phrase, that “even Gatsby could happen.”

Here’s an article theorizing that Gatsby actually is a black man.

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