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…

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…

In a small NH town, stark reminders that racism persists

(This article appeared in The Concord Monitor and The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) June 12 was Loving Day. What’s that? The day that, in 1967, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the decision in Loving v. Virginia, finding the State of Virginia’s law criminalizing interracial marriage to be in violation of the Constitution. In the words of Chief…

How to Know a “Sell Out” When You See One

When people think of prominent black-white couples, figures that come to mind might include “sensational” (read: chock full of drama) pairings, Tiger Woods and Elin Nordegren/Lindsey Vonn, Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Laine Bryant (though she’s actually Hispanic), and Lamar Odom and Khloe Kadashian (in the picture). And for many ordinary black people, these guys ‘sold…

Raising Interracially Adopted Black Babies – Part 2

In Part 1 of this post, I argued that interracially adopted black babies ought to be taught a vernacular (African) language at first language proficiency to give them the option of communing with other black people who share their experiences of being black in a (sadly, still) highly racialised world. In this part, I expand…

Raising Interracially Adopted Black Babies – Part 1

For the first time, I am blogging per request and to give advice explicitly. I suppose I say that up-front, not to suggest that I haven’t thought about the topic lots beforehand, but because I had held off blogging about this rather sensitive subject out of doubt that I had the right to speak on…

Ode to Colour-Blindness

Perhaps, on reading my blog posts in the last year, some might be led to believe that I reject colour-blindness outrighly, as a matter of principle. As a matter of fact, I don’t. In the last few months, Dan and I have seen a number of movies that have adopted a colour-blind approach and we’ve…

Victims of Reverse Racism

(Warning: This blog is not for the faint of heart!) One of my most formative experiences in recent years was when a much-older white man (almost) accused me of reverse racism. I was requesting permission to hold a formal, yet inexclusive, gathering that would highlight racial and gendered differences in experience. The intention was to…

In South Africa, past is present in black and white

[This column was written for the Manchester Union Leader, May 15th 2012] Learning my New Hampshire history back in middle school, “conflict” was not a concept I encountered. It seemed the biggest tragedy to befall our state in the last 250 years was losing more than a few good men to wars beyond our borders….

I looked twice AND took a photo!

Last post, my dear husband “outed” himself. This week, I find, it’s my turn. For the benefit of our non-South African readers, let me explain the background of the title. The photograph that accompanies this post is one of a series of posters forming an ad campaign adopted by the Democratic Alliance Students Organisation (DASO)….