Why white children in SA need black role models

Lovelyn Nwadeyi believes we need to change the way we talk about race in South Africa, particularly when it comes to our children.

Nwadeyi is a social justice activist, radio presenter and was named one of Elle Magazine's Women to Watch in 2016.

In 2016 she became the first black woman and the youngest person ever to address a traditionally white audience at Stellenbosch University to talk to them about having an honest conversation about race.

Speaking to Melanie Rice on Upfront with Refilwe, Nwadeyi says it's pointless to try and avoid such conversations.

There are various things we walk into a room with and in the context of South Africa, race is always in the room.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Social activist

Some of these biases that we have are not linked to whether we are good or bad people, they are linked to the fact that we are socialised into some of these beliefs.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Social activist

She says that in her experience people usually come from a place of one of two extremes...fear and resistance.

The fear from white people being that if we really were to imbibe the conversation around equity for people of colour that they would lose out.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Social activist

For me, the perspectives that people like Helen Zille articulate around colonialism are so dangerous because they are literally a rewriting of history.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Social activist

When it comes to talking to our children, particularly white children about race, Nywadeyi says its vital we start introducing multiple narratives.

Imagine giving white children the opportunity to have role models who are not just white.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Social activist

Then it means that the centre of a white child's identity is no longer their proximity to whiteness, it's actually just built around being human.

Lovelyn Nwadeyi, Social activist

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why white children in SA need black role models


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