Friday, September 11, 2009

Skin – The story of mixed 'outcast' Sandra Laing

Sandra Laing was a black baby born to white parents at the height of apartheid in South Africa. The hatred, rejection and heartache she suffered at the hands of the authorities, her teachers and her family sent shock waves across the world.

On the timesonline a story was published about her life, the racial implications of being stuck in the racial middle during the apartheid in South Africa, and about the movie Skin. "The story goes beyond race. It’s about a need to belong, a need to be loved and accepted. There’s a moment when her father lovingly puts skin-bleaching cream on her face to lighten her skin. It burns and he blows on it. Fabian (Producer and director of the film Skin) describes Laing as like a peach. “The skin easily bruises, but there is a hard core, a big stone of strength.

The one thing that haunts Laing is her relationship with her brothers. Neither of them speaks to her. When Adriaan was a baby she used to cradle him and feed him. “Leon told me that if Adriaan’s wife finds out that he has been talking to me she is going to divorce him.” Is it because Adriaan, himself quite dark-coloured, is ashamed of his even darker sister and the way it might interrupt his nice white life? “I don’t know what colour his children turned out to be. People say they are white. He must remember me, how close we were. Maybe he is scared of his wife.” Read the full story here.

In a book review bi-racial author Rebecca Walker wrote about laing's story. " Laing's story is similar to that of many who straddle racial designations that have more to do with social engineering than with actual differences among human beings. Shame, alienation from family members, memory loss and difficulty in sustaining a stable home are a few of the possible effects of belonging to more than one racial category. Ironically, Laing eventually seems to have found some peace with help from members of the same media that once took part in her objectification. Two journalists in particular helped to fit the pieces of Laing's life together, and as a result of their work to reunite Laing with her estranged mother, she finally felt unburdened. In a moving passage, one of those journalists, Judith Stone, tells of Laing dreaming that she was "laughing and laughing"; she felt "a new space open up in her heart."

The sad part is that one of her parents has black roots, but ended up being a pro-white nationalist.

See more pictures here

See youtube video: Sandra Laing: A Spiritual Journey - South Africa


  1. This is an amazing story. Thanks for bringing it to us.

  2. I have to say that after watching the movie and reading the book, I cannot not believe what cad assholes her brothers are. All because of race- this makes me so sick to my stomach. They are just as evil and twisted as KKK member in the south of united states. I hope Sandra knows that true love and relatives goes way beyond your own blood. After all we were ALL created in God's image.

  3. I am biracial a white mom and black father n my tears fell during this movie so much that I cannot begin to describe , how can a mother just turn her back I just can't imagine , and how can her brothers do the same , Whats saddest is when its too late to apologize or say I luv u , I really pray that they find each other , there's nothing like family , again im in tears just thanking god that I am so loved by a beautiful white mother n and a great blk father n dear god life is short again I pray they find each other. That is so sad when its too late.

  4. I am a black mother with a white son and my son is pure white and I love him so much I could never turn my back on him god gave me a angel to love just like he gave them a angel to love how could they turn their back on her when she came from them it's a bond that u grow with ur child when u are carry them in ur stomach u feel them grow and move how can a mother carry a child then be ashamed them cause of their color it's still ur child they will have to answer to the man upstairs never turn ur back on ur blessing love ur blessing and thank god for giving u a beautiful baby

  5. This was an incredible story. How is Sandra doing now?


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