Titles

A Person My Colour – Love, Adoption and Parenting While White

R280.00

Martina Dahlmanns

With contributions by Tumi Jonas-Mpofu

A deeply personal memoir by a white adoptive mother of children who are black. Urgently questions the very depths of what it means to be white in South Africa today. Unsettling, precisely because of what it reveals simultaneously about the enduring impact of inherited privilege and the repercussions of disadvantage.

If you are tired of hearing about ‘whiteness’, and if you think racism exists in the hearts of evil others, or you believe that having a black friend unshackles you from racism’s hold, I dare you to read this book.

Martina Dahlmanns, the daughter of parents who grew up in the shadow of post-war Germany, an adoptive mother of children who are black, and a member of a dialogue group of black and white women, urgently questions the very depths of what it means to be white in South Africa today. Her deeply personal memoir is unsettling because of what it reveals simultaneously about the enduring impact of inherited privilege and the repercussions of disadvantage

But it is Dahlmanns’ dialogue with Tumi Mpofu-Jonas—whose own reflections appear in the last section of the book—that reveals so much of what’s possible, yet potentially destructive, in relationships between black and white South Africans today.

Born in Germany in the 1960s to war-traumatised parents, Martina grew up in middle-class suburbia, surrounded by loaded silences and unacknowledged prejudice. For as long as she can remember, writing has been her go-to-place, allowing her to express the unthinkable and make sense of her feelings. She first came to South Africa on a holiday after the first democratic elections, missed her flight back and never left. Her writing career includes making up Chinese subtitles for Swedish porn and plotting weekly murders for a radio mystery-show in Berlin. She lives in Cape Town with her partner and their three children.

Born and bred in Gugulethu, South Africa, Tumi Jonas-Mpofu grew up in the last years of apartheid, grappling from an early age with issues of social injustice and racism. Motivated to understand and challenge herself and those around her, she co-founded “This Dialogue Thing”, studied psychology and took up boxing. She recently submitted her masters thesis and lives with her partner and their child in Somerset West.

“I dare you to read this book.”
– Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela (Professor and Research Chair of Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University)