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Skin - The Sandra Laing Story

Skin - The Movie Elysian Films A mixed-race child born to white parents.

Mixed-race actress Sophie Okonedo stars as Sandra Laing in Skin. The award winning film is based on the life story of Sandra Laing and tells the story of a mixed-race child born in the 1950s to white Afrikaners, unaware of their black ancestry. Her parents are rural shopkeepers serving the local black community, who lovingly bring her up as their ‘white’ little girl. But at the age of ten, Sandra is driven out of white society. The film follows Sandra’s thirty-year journey from rejection to acceptance, betrayal to reconciliation, as she struggles to define her place in a changing world - and triumphs against all odds.

In hindsight it is obvious that many Afrikaans had racially mixed ancestry, the Europeans and the Africans had lived there together for centuries and although there was obvious exploitation there must also have been genuine relationships and the birth of many mixed-race children. It would have made sense to pass for white if one could and that could explain two apparently white parents bringing a mixed-race child into the world.

Funny enough in other parts of the world such as Africa and the Caribbean, children who are born a different colour from their parents and even from their siblings are not that rare. Sandra Laing's story is only unique because it happened in apartheid South Africa, where the state went out of its way to suppress racial mixing. What is not funny is that there were obviously many Afrikaans who knew about their black family ancestry and still supported apartheid.

he projections show that the US population is expected to rise from 305 million people to 439 million by 2050. In the same year, minorities will account for 54% of the population and non-Hispanic whites 46%, down from their current 64.7% share, according to the stats.

Immigration and higher birth rates among US minorities, especially Hispanics, are being blamed for accelerating the demographic changes. Of course it could be that the more affluent white population are having less children themselves.

Skin and premiers at the Odeon Leicester Square, London on July 2


Features: The Sandra Laing Story

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