Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
I pass as white, which is relatively easy to do since my ancestry is all English and German with the tiniest smidgeon of Scot ... yet some of my Congolese relatives tell me that I have an African heart.

I hope they don't out me ... I think the Chinese stereotype of an American professor is a white American, and if I get outed as having an African heart, I don't know what that will do with my longevity as a laowei professor.

It may not be surprising, given the population diversity in Africa, but I remember most of the African students in both the US and in Australia as being more relaxed about African "ethnicity". I remember the Algerian student who would yell to my Congolese wife (then girl-friend) "Hello, African!" across the married and graduate student housing complex, in French, and she would yell back, in French, "Hello, African!".

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Jun 15th, 2015 at 06:01:06 AM EST
I had a Jamaican roommate for a year or so. A most interesting man. Highly social. Catching up with him after a few days he would recount people he had met, details of what they were wearing, the model of their car, etc. But he couldn't describe their race. He actually did not notice.

Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other. -- Dr Johnson
by melvin (melvingladys at or near yahoo.com) on Mon Jun 15th, 2015 at 07:10:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Some years ago, visiting London with my daughters aged about 8 and 12, we were in Brixton one day. I asked them if they noticed anything particular about the neighbourhood, compared to other parts of the city. They couldn't come up with anything.

Two thirds of everyone (shoppers, shop staff, police, etc) were black, and they hadn't noticed.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Tue Jun 16th, 2015 at 04:17:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had that experience when I was about 14 or so. Headed to London on a school trip from Dublin. We left our hotel in one of the cheaper parts of the city early in the morning, and I discovered my classmates were gaping at the passers by, astonished. I couldn't figure out why.

It was early morning down a side street, so the crowd was mainly non-white immigrants on their way to work. I hadn't noticed anything unusual: I'd moved to Dublin from London five years before. Some of the less travelled others probably hadn't ever seen a black close up: Dublin was very white thirty (Eeek!) years ago.

by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 16th, 2015 at 05:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Recently my father recounted a memory from our first and only visit to London when I was 6. We arrived on a day when all shops were closed but we had no food, so the whole family went on a walk looking for something open. We found a building with an open entrance resembling a supermarket's, but it turned out to be a church. Just as we would have left, a hundred people streamed in for mass, all black. They were just as startled to see the bunch of shabby-clothed whites as my father at seeing them.

I have no memory of this, although I remember much more details from London than my father.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Tue Jun 16th, 2015 at 03:42:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Outliers: The Story of Success ...
As an epilogue to the book, Gladwell includes the story of his own success as it connects to his own family's background. Gladwell's ancestors are from Jamaica. His great-great-great grandmother is a slave bought in Jamaica who has a child with her white owner. Gladwell explains the social structure in Jamaica at the time, which is partly based on skin tone. Lighter skinned black people are given more opportunities and privileges than darker skinned people. Gladwell's grandmother, Daisy, along with his grandfather, Donald, are school teachers able to provide an education for their twin daughters, one of whom is Gladwell's mother, Joyce.
Marriage to whiter still persists in many tropical countries.
by das monde on Wed Jun 17th, 2015 at 09:24:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Occasional Series