On 2 June 2020 we stood together in unity and blacked out our social media with a movement that was, in my opinion, a well overdue deep-dive into issues that still plague our world. Being a white, priviledged mama raising white children in South Africa I have, especially in the past months, felt an incredible need to learn as much as possible, to enable me to share as much as possible so we are all empowered with knowledge and the know-how to DO better. That little black square that on the 2nd helped me feel like I was supporting, by the 3rd of June brought with it a deep guilt that I wasn’t doing enough. So on June 4th 2020, after wracking my brain on trying to figure out a way to be part of the change that we so need, I decided to ask for help. I reached out to a woman of colour who I highly respect and have grown to love; the gorgeous Leanne Dlamini.
Leanne graciously accepted the challenge and I received her message to us white mamas in my inbox today. It really touched me, enlightened me, and given me some pointers to help me do right by my children – to open their eyes and hearts, in order to do right by ALL children, here and abroad.
Before we get to Leanne’s open letter to all white mamas, I want to share an experience I had with Jackson. You will see that Leanne roasts me in her piece 😉 the back-story to that is; Long-story short, month-end May, just ahead of 2 June black out, our business’ driver drove our Gogo (nanny) and domestic workers both home for the weekend. As they drove away Jackson turned to me and said something that stuck me and made me feel as though I had failed him. He said, “Mommy it is so strange to see three brown people in a car”. He adores his Gogo more than anything in the world – his second mother, and even though his comment was full of naive innocence, my heart literally ached as the words left his lips. He has friends of colour at school. His best friend is coloured. But it was clear to me that from his observation, through his eyes, he was not seeing enough diversity. I knew instantly that needed to change.Continue reading “An open letter to white mamas”