When will we protest our privilege?

What do #racism and #whiteprivilege look like? I attended a predominantly white and wealthy university with over 5,000 undergraduates. Of the more than 3,000 students who were under age 21 at any given time, I would estimate at least 1,000 drank on a typical weekend. Considering we spent around 28 weekends on campus per year,…

It’s Not Enough to Not Be Racist

What if I told you the sad and ignorant man who called my wife the N-word in New Hampshire isn’t really the problem? What if I said that well-mannered “white” folk like you and me are just as much the problem as he? Let me explain. The term “structural racism” is redundant. Racism didn’t start…

Learning to love, and be loved by, the ‘other’

Hard though it is to admit, I grew up implicitly fearing black faces like his. Not because my kind and inclusive parents were consciously racist—because they and their society hadn’t yet learned how to be consciously antiracist. So I drank my portion of the poison of racism that permeates American life and defines dark faces…

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…

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…

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…

Re-Mixed: Time to dust off our blog?

After two years of neglect of this blog we began in South Africa, we’re thinking it might just be time to dust it off again. Here’s a glimpse of how we came to that conclusion… Dan: So, Sindiso, what have you been up to anyway these past two years while not whipping up blogs for…

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)…