Showing posts from July, 2016

Black life: walking, waiting and mobility

I leave for work at about 6:30am every morning. Everyday, without fail, I will see black people walking somewhere or waiting for a bus or taxi. On my route, I don’t see any white people doing the same. All the white people are in their cars or jogging or walking their dogs (although this has become the work of the gardener as I’m seeing many black men walking dogs at strange hours the same way I see black women pushing prams with white babies). 

This observation isn’t really revolutionary because anyone who lives in the suburbs knows these dynamics (I drive through Emmerentia, Greenside, Parktown, Saxonwold, Houghton, Norwood and sometimes through Melville): in the morning, we see the black people arrive to clean white people’s houses and offices; and in the evening we see the exodus when they return to their homes in townships and far off places where the black majority lives. I’m becoming impatient with this form of mobility because it highlights how very little has changed in terms …

The invention of women

I'm reading Prof Oyeronke Oyewumi's book The invention of women: making an African sense of Western Gender Discourses after watching the conversation she had with Prof Zine Magubane at Rhodes University last month. I haven't finished the book. In fact, I'm still reading the first chapter and I'm rethinking so many things. I have a bad habit of reading more than one book concurrently. In the past few weeks I've been dipping in and out of Toni Morrison's Mercy and the collection of her essays (which I'm finding very difficult to grasp)I just finished Buchi Emecheta's Second-Class citizen (which just about broke my heart) and The diary of Maria Tholo (a collection of Maria Tholo's diary entries during 1976 collected by Carol Hermer), and now I have added Oyewumi's book. 
This repertoire of titles is not random. I'm quite intent on reading work by black women and work that reflects the experiences of black women. In a world that doesn't…