My Therapist is Black*

*With thanks and apologies to Young Jeezy I had my first panic attack when I was 20. Up till that point, I'd never considered therapy, and had shrugged off the persistent lethargy and darkness that episodically enveloped me. I was an undergraduate psychology major, so I was especially cautious about throwing around labels like 'anxiety' … Continue reading My Therapist is Black*

The Immortal Lessons of Henrietta Lacks

Whilst I was watching a particularly harrowing sequence in the new HBO-produced movie The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (based on Rebecca Skloot's bestselling book), I was reminded of a bit that Chris Rock used to include in his stand-up about race. He would argue that the most 'racist' black people he knew were older black people, … Continue reading The Immortal Lessons of Henrietta Lacks

But is it racism?

  Another year, another viral story about Cape Town’s insidious racism. This time the story came from a young woman who was visiting the city with her family over the festive season. At some point, she and her family tried to make reservations at an upmarket Camps Bay restaurant, using (as you do) their own … Continue reading But is it racism?

On Silence and Human Limits

look at what the lord has made. above Missouri, sweet smoke. not an elegy for Mike Brown, Danez Zmith Oh, the week that was.   On Monday morning, I woke up to the news that a grand jury in Missouri, in the US, had decided not to indict the white policeman who killed an unarmed, … Continue reading On Silence and Human Limits

Obliterated Places

    I’m a middle class black person who is married to a white person and who happens to live in a hopelessly unintegrated city (Cape Town).  It should therefore not surprise you to learn, reader, that I am often The Only Black Person in the Room.  It doesn’t often surprise me much, having lived … Continue reading Obliterated Places

The New Normal, or what a family looks like

  This is my 'normal' You get used to the staring. When my husband and I first started dating, the staring bothered me. Wherever we went, people would gape at us, openly unashamedly, wearing all of their (offensive) questions on their faces. At first, I would fly into impotent rages and rant on and on … Continue reading The New Normal, or what a family looks like

Steve Biko on Allies: Reflections on Masculinity Work

Two weeks ago, I attended an engaging discussion on gender-based violence and what is involved in the work of stopping it. At this event, one of the panelists raised the issue of masculinity work as a crucial part of this. I was intrigued: whilst this is not my first time at the masculinity rodeo, per … Continue reading Steve Biko on Allies: Reflections on Masculinity Work

On Friendship

I broke up with one of my best friends last year.  It was a spectacular, real-life, parting of the hearts – angry words were sent back and forth across the interwebs and via our phones, accusations were flung, incredibly hurtful things were said (by both of us).  Reader, it got ugly.  And as these things … Continue reading On Friendship