Skin | 2009
Sandra Laing entered the world a beautiful baby but no one, not the hospital staff, her mother, father or neighbors would admit the obvious. Abraham and Sannie Laing were white yet their daughter was dark. By a biological quirk, the pigment of an unknown black ancestor had lain dormant for generations and manifested in Sandra. If there was ever a wrong place and wrong time for this phenomenon, it was apartheid South Africa in 1955. In childhood she was reclassified as "colored" under apartheid laws and forcibly removed from her whites-only school, despite a legal challenge by her parents. She later eloped with a black man and became estranged from her parents, before seeking a reconciliation with her mother after the fall of apartheid.