Black and white: crossing the colour line

Colour can be eye-catching and nothing more so than black and white next to each other. It reminds me of a South African DJ commenting that Ebony and Ivory by Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder was a song about piano-keys -if he hadn’t, perhaps the song would have been banned by the Apartheid government as black and white were not allowed to mix. Others who managed to avoid the radio ban to some extent were South Africa’s white Zulu, Johnny Clegg and Mango Groove.

Recently, reading Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, I was reminded of these songs and other novels which touch on the theme of black and white – all on this list are written by white authors and have had a profound effect on many by challenging the stereotypes.

Harper Lee – To kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee – Go set a watchman
Alan Paton – Cry the Beloved Country
Doris Lessing – The Grass is singing

TSL’s John Samson has published Shaka are Dead telling the story of two young boys, one white and one black who become friends through a chance encounter in post Apartheid South Africa. The story is narrated by Jakes, a young poor white boy in typical colloquial style.

John’s second novel to be published although his first written, Powerless, is due out by October 2016. It tells the story of two men, Deon Scott and Simon Tshabalala, caught in a lift during a powercut one Friday evening.

John has a regular blog on South African music.

Just when I thought I'd seen it all… The Secret Life of Bees in the comics! 🤗 #muttscomics

A post shared by Sue Monk Kidd (@suemonkkidd) on


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