Confession: I haven’t read The Canon

Yes, I hold a BA in English but haven’t read much of “the canon”. One of the things about not coming from a very literate family, culture or class is that I wasn’t read to much growing up, and most of what was read to me was written in short form (published in the newspaper…

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 Story Behind “You’re Beautiful”

I was walking through an airport the other day when I spotted the glossy cover. An unabashedly black Lupita Nyong’o, sporting her very own nappy black hair, cropped short, beamed on the cover of People magazine’s “50 Most Beautiful” issue. Another first for dark black women in American popular culture, courtesy the luminous Lupita. But for…

What’s In A Name?

One of my dear relations through marriage has, for the last three years that Dan and I have been married, consistently misspelled my name. Dan and I have tried to gently draw her attention to the fact a number of times (by signing my full name at the end of emails or Dan posting a…

Is it because I’m white?

Not long ago, I received a call from a man inviting me to give a talk at a conference. As friends can no doubt attest, I have a healthy dose of pride and don’t mind being asked to speak in public. So I was happy to receive his call. Trouble was, I really had no…

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…

Black hair in and from India

You may not have seen Chris Rock’s movie, “Good Hair”, but I’m convinced that much of India has. What leads me to believe this (in spite of the country’s proud preference for Bollywood over Hollywood) is the number of conversations that I had during our three week trip this Dec/Jan that went something like this:…

Life in a taxi

 Picking up on the last entry about Dan’s and my welcome back to South African taxi life, here’s a bit more on this peculiar (to westerners) mode of transport that’s a necessary fact of life for so many South Africans, as seen through my sociologist lens… If you’ve never been to a third world country,…