Just Ask It!

On a walk through the woods outside Cape Town the other day, Sindiso and the kids and I happened upon a middle-aged Xhosa woman sitting outside a shed, presumably waiting to start work. I say ‘presumably’ because although I have no idea why she was in that spot at that time, I have learned from…

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…

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…

When Love Was a Crime

With Nelson Mandela’s recent passing, I’ve found myself reflecting on South Africa’s apartheid history a lot. I have reflected on the significance of his life and passing for me personally (socio-politically and economically) and South Africa’s future (in the country’s pursuit of reconciliation, freedom and justice) elsewhere. Yet, this blog seems the appropriate place for a reflection on…

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…

When “Interracial Dating Service” Is My Name

Most times, my telling people my surname is Weeks (or, more explicitly, that I’m married to a white man) yields disbelief – or, as an Indian-South African telephone agent recently (virtually) accused me of identity-theft: “that can’t be you, the registered name is Mrs SM Weeks!” Of course, there are times when it attracts flat-out…

What I don’t get to say to my black wife

One of the cool things about marriage (there are many) is that you get to say most anything you want to your spouse. Communications gurus advise that you speak what’s on your heart rather than keep it in, something I’ve found doesn’t come naturally to most of us guys, but which can be quite liberating…

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…

Safe Spaces: Breaking the Barrier Between White and Black

In much of our reading lately, Dan and I have heard the message repeated that the best solution to racialisation and the inequality it perpetuates in society is for white and black people to be intentional about forming deep relationships across the colour line. This requires living in community with one another: shared neighbourhoods, churches,…

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)….