Please watch this video by Lupita (Nyongo).
All I want to talk about is the bit where she didn’t know she was Black until she moved to the United States, similar to my experience when I moved to South Africa.
In this week following the announcement that Dr. Mamphela Ramphele would be running as the Democratic Alliance (DA) Presidential candidate, there have been a few frank racial conversations doing the rounds (and some not so objective). Due to this country’s history, it does tend to take on a racial slant and this morning my colleagues and I spent some time considering how we move past that history to a non-racial, inclusive society. Now while I don’t know the answer two things did hit me, POOF!!
- Due to its’ terrorised past, South Africa needs many safe spaces for people to talk about the past, their current situation and be empowered to face their future. Until then, you find many people crippled by their past, their current stereotypes and too fearful of the future to participate fully in the society. You also do hear of denialism and white guilt because some White folk do also need that space to, frankly deal with the emotions that they might not want to or have never acknowledged to themselves.
- Conversations need to begin moving from black/white, them/us to better understanding that the value of people comes from that core thing inside them that makes them human. When we look at it at the racial level, we stick to single identifiers only and don’t consider the whole of what makes individuals people. An individual is made of a sum of parts and race or gender or interests make up the constituent parts and not the whole. For some its spirituality or religion that helps helps them transcend this and that’s important for us to consider – how do I get there? For me, it’s an understanding of the Creation story in Genesis – God made us all, male and female, in His image and likeness.
A bit simplistic, perhaps but what do you think?