Yes, I’m Their Mommy, Not Their Nanny

One of the things I love most about my home country of South Africa is just how upfront people are … especially black people. On our recent trip home, several conversations about our babies duly fit this mould. For background: last year, Dan and I had twins. Since they’re still young and very portable (as well as…

A few ideas to stop systemic racism

Following the tragic events in Charlottesville, I joined the chorus of well-meaning white people in condemning white supremacist violence on American streets. I blamed the obvious villain: men with sticks and swastikas, and even semi-automatics, who marched for the belief that my biracial children are inferior and don’t belong in the land of their birth….

One year in and still standing!

We made it! We survived the first year! And my “normal” brain is maybe starting to return, at least a little… Hallelujah! So, here I am getting back to writing. I’ve missed doing it. And sooo much has happened in the last two years! Much of it, I’ve wanted to pen or capture in writing somehow…

Subtle Indignities: Why We Should Still “See” Race – Part 3

After my last post (my intermission), I wasn’t sure I wanted to proceed with my series of blog posts. Ironically, I was feeling a little fatigued of talking about the need for race consciousness (colour bravery) – especially against the backdrop of the xenophobic attacks (“black-on-black violence”) that have taken place in South Africa these last few…

Intermission: A Black African’s View on New England Winter

One day last November, I went into the gym at 4.30pm, when it was reasonably light outside, and came out at 5.30pm to find it pitch black. My thoughts: “eish, mara – what am I doing in this misery?!” I got into the car … On NPR, Melissa Block was talking to Ms. Hazard (I think that’s her…

Subtle Indignities: Why We Should Still “See” Race – Part 2

Last post I gave the example of having suffered a subtle indignity linked to my social identity as a black woman at a professional dinner. Now I turn to a different situation. Teaching a new class, I always find that I have to work extra hard with my students – more so than my white (especially male)…

When ‘reasonable belief’ is unreasonable and unjust

(This article appeared in The Concord Monitor on Sunday, November 30, 2014) The grand jury has spoken. Officer Darren Wilson has had his day in court. The focus of the press and public is moving on from Ferguson, Mo. Although the outcome of the case is clear – Wilson will not be tried in court for the killing…

Things for ((sub)urban) black persons to consider before marrying a white person

Pardon the graphic opening – it’s just a little bit of an overshare. Also pardon the gross generalisations inherent in my personal observations/reflections below: I know not all white people who go camping are wealthy for it is sometimes possible to acquire some of the expensive kit from yard sales and thrift stores (Dan, for instance, didn’t grow…

Lovin’ “Loving Day”

It’s corny, I know: interracial couples the world over, and their friends, getting together en masse to publicly celebrate interracial relating. Yeah, it’s kind of a gimmick too. Yet, I can’t help but get excited about it every time the annual reminder shows up on my calendar. I even confess that I looked on the…

The Elusive Pursuit of Dark Beauty

“I can remember being in the bathtub asking my mom to put bleach in the water so that my skin would be lighter and so that I could escape the feelings I had about not being as beautiful, as acceptable, as lovable.” “She’s pretty for a dark-skinned girl … What is that supposed to mean?”…

The Story Behind “He’s Creepy”: White Men-Black Women

Some wonderful single, black women I know have recently been considering, for the first time, dating outside of our race. A set of circumstances – namely, building an intentionally multiracial community with Christian friends – has made that a viable and even reasonable proposition for them. For the first time, they can actually imagine (and…