I devoured ‘A Person My Colour – Love, Adoption and Parenting While White’ in two sittings – I urgently wanted to hear what Martina Dahlmans had to say because it resonated with me so deeply. I did so with wet cheeks and a nodding head of agreement as I recognised much of myself and our family’s adoption experience in the pages.
Martina came to South Africa from Germany after our first democratic elections, missed her flight home and then decided to stay put. She is a mom of three through adoption and they live as a family right here in Cape Town. She shares her story from the beginning when she and her partner first made the decision to adopt, to bringing her children home and then her journey to understanding the importance of race thanks largely to her friendship with Tumi Jonas-Mpofu which began in a sometimes awkward dialogue group of women who met monthly to talk about race.
This book is a must read for every person who has become a parent through transracial adoption, especially for those of us who are parenting while white in South Africa. It is also well worth a read for every white South African who knows that they’re not always getting it right and wants to do better. The truth in this book is so important – it is written with such clarity and insight that it often gave me the words for some of the feelings I’ve yet been able to verbalise.
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, Professor and Research Chair of Historical Trauma and Transformation at Stellenbosch University is quoted on the back of the book as saying,
“If you are tired of hearing about ‘whiteness’, and if you think racism exists in the hearts of evil others, or you believe that having a black friend unshackles you from racism’s hold, I dare you to read this book. Martina Dahlmann’s deeply personal narrative, told against the background of being a daughter of parents who grew up in the shadow of post-war Germany, an adoptive mother of children who are black, and a member of a dialogue group of black and white women, urgently questions the very depths of what it means to be white in South Africa today.
Her book is unsettling, precisely because of what it reveals simultaneously about the enduring impact of inherited privilege and the repercussions of disadvantage. But it is Dahlmann’s dialogue with Tumi Jonas-Mpofu – whose own reflections appear in the last section of the book – that reveal so much of what’s possible, yet potentially destructive, in relationships between black and white South Africans today.”
Since Martina’s book launch at the Book Lounge last month, hosted by Sara-Jayne King of Killing Karoline fame, I’ve heard that it is hard to get your hands on a copy of this book due it it’s overwhelming popularity. So here’s a chance to WIN one of two copies, delivered directly to your doorstep by Modjaji Books!
- Hop over to the Facebook post about this giveaway on Heart Mama Blog & give it a like & then comment below to let me know if you were at the Launch event? (I need the comments to allocate you a number for the draw)
- Keep your eye on Instagram for another opportunity to enter!
The competition closes on Friday 16 November at 12h00 and the winner will be selected via Random.org. I will select two winners across my social media platforms – one from Facebook and one from Instagtam. The winner drawn must have followed all necessary steps above in order to qualify for the prize and live in South Africa. The prize will be delivered directly to the winners by Modjaj Books. Good luck everyone!