When She Was White: The True Story of a Family Divided by Race
During the worst years of official racism in South Africa, the story of one young girl came to symbolize the injustice, corruption, and arbitrary nature of apartheid. Born in 1955 to a pro-apartheid white couple, Sandra Laing was officially registered and raised as a white child. But at a school for whites, she was mercilessly persecuted because of her dark skin and frizzy hair. Her parents attributed her appearance to an interracial union far back in family history. Their neighbors, however, thought Mrs. Laing had committed adultery with a black man. The family was shunned. When Sandra was ten, she was reclassified as "coloured." As a teenager, she eloped with a black man, her parents disowned her, and having known only the privileged world of the whites, she chose to begin again in a poor, all-black township, where life was a desperate struggle against a legal system designed to enslave.
Family Relationships; Racial Diversity; Poverty; Race discrimination; impoverished community; racism; apartheid; segregation; prejudice
mother and father
colored people; South Africa; women; families; family relationships; family history; apartheid
Stone, Judith, "When She Was White: The True Story of a Family Divided by Race" (2007). Diverse Families. 1033.