When She Was White: The True Story of a Family Divided by Race, written by Judith Stone

2241 WordsFeb 21, 20189 Pages
In 2008, the book, When She Was White: the True Story of a Family Divided by Race, written by Judith Stone, was turned into a documentary (Skin). Skin, as it would be called, details the true story of Sandra Laing. Sandra Laing is a South African woman who was born with a genetic disorder called Atavism. Despite being born to white parents, Laing exhibited African physical characteristics. Because of this, Laing was classified as colored during the apartheid era (Skin). Both the book and the film are significant to the field of sociology as they exemplify the negative effects that a person’s racial identity can have on them socially, politically, and economically. The movie begins set in the present day, but soon shifts to the time of Laing’s childhood. The scene opens as Laing’s parents are dropping her off at an all-white boarding school. The school is, in fact, the one that her older, white-looking, brother, Leon, attends. The school, alarmed by her appearance, soon expels her, claiming she is not white. During the time in which Sandra lived, people of color were not offered the same quality of education as their white counterparts. In 1953, the Bantu Education Act was implemented (“Apartheid Timeline”). Through this law, the white government began supervising the education of all blacks. The schools conditioned blacks to accept white domination (“Apartheid Timeline”). This is displayed in Skin, when Laing’s teacher shows two posters: one labeled “White People,” and the

More about When She Was White: The True Story of a Family Divided by Race, written by Judith Stone

Open Document