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There was a story, that unfortunately I only heard about secondhand.

The premise is that there's some future society where, due to globalization, eventually all races became homogeneous. Somehow, there was a white guy from today that was born or time-traveled or something so that he's a part of this society. Except . . . the people of this society want the white guy to not feel different.

So, ever since he was very young, they build a world around him that he grows up in--some kind of enormous stage. And they get actors to pretend to be his mother and father and people in his village (the actors all wear makeup so as to appear racially diverse). There's nothing else really to do except make a TV show about it--so this white guy becomes the subject of a reality TV show.

One day he gets a little suspicious and starts heading off in a given direction, but the people just start building the world ahead of him, so that he never leaves.

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    Reminds me of The Truman Show (and the Twilight Zone episode that inspired it). – Trish Ling Nov 14 '14 at 5:03
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    just to be sure, was this a written story? Short or full length? – Trish Ling Nov 14 '14 at 5:34
  • Reminds me of Race Against Time by Piers Anthony. – Frock Nov 14 '14 at 6:34
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    @Frock: yeah, I thought so too. I'll post a description. – Trish Ling Nov 14 '14 at 13:58
  • possibly the same as scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/214154/… (which is newer but has an accepted answer) – Otis Jun 10 at 15:01
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Race Against Time by Piers Anthony (1986) bears some resemblance...

from kirkusreviews.com:

From an innocuous beginning -- a boy and his dog walking through the fields -- layer upon subtle layer is overlapped to develop a superior science fiction vision. The boy, John Smith, only extant caucasian male and raised in an enclave environmentally geared to America, 1960, is destined to be mated with caucasian Betsy, similarly raised, in a world populated by a totally integrated race appropriately called "Standards." Through a series of errors (or are they?) they and the society's two other "purebred" pairs (one African and one Chinese) escape their enclaves and investigate the Standard world around them -- a world so completely envisioned by Mr. Anthony that he occasionally loses the reader in a reference to some aspect hitherto unrevealed. (This however is not a serious flaw; in fact, it contributes to the compelling style of layered revelation.) The six eventually learn that they are products of procreative banks preserved through the centuries and that Standard is Earth after pollution and human-instigated plague wiped out most of the population. There is considerable ambiguity about the Standards and their true purposes, and the author's apparent assumptions about racial/ethnic interaction may be debated, but it is provocative in the presentation and even the stereotyped characters are believable considerating the nature of their nurture.

From GoodReads.com:

The story is told by young John Smith, a white American boy becoming a man who is living in a small town supposedly located in Nebraska. Several inconsistencies have begun to trouble him. There is the peeling color of the skin of many of the inhabitants of Newton. Why cannot John go beyond certain environmental limits outside of Newton? Who is the young woman to whom he is supposedly to marry and is she real? As he questions his life in Newton he begins to explore to discover the answers for himself. The answers will surprise the reader as well as investigate environmental change and destruction which is interesting from the perspective of the time in which this novel was written - 1973.

What John discovers is unsettling to him. It seems that small villages are created to hold pure white Americans, Chinese, Arabs and Africans on a second world. Are all the purebreds trapped or imprisoned part of a zoo or observation experiment? His adventures are just beginning as he finds himself banded with other young people who are searching for the truth. Read this novel and discover the answers that John and his friends found. I assure you that the ending will surprise you.

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