"He never told me he was black"

Friday 28 November 2014

I heard a story on ABC radio some years ago.

It went like this:

A white farmer, his wife and infant daughter lived on a property in an isolated area of South Africa.

They had a number of black workers on the farm including a woman with a little boy called Johnny. Johnny used to stay in the house as company for the little girl while his mother worked in the fields or in the house. The little girl grew attached to Johnny who was a year or two older. When she woke in the morning she wanted Johnny. All day long she followed Johnny around and when she went to bed - "where's Johnny?" She loved Johnny.

Some years went by and the time came when the little girl was six and had to go to the little school down the road. She insisted that Johnny went too and so her mother made them sandwiches and they went, hand in hand as usual, down the road to the little school.

In the afternoon the little girl came back. Alone.

Her mother looked out the door."where's Johnny?"

Little girl: Lips compressed. No reply.

"Is Johnny coming in soon for a glass of milk and some cake?"

Little girl: Lips still compressed. No reply.

Mother: Laughing. "What's the matter? Don't you like Johnny any more?"

Little girl: I HATE him.

Mother: Shocked. You hate Johnny???!!!. Why?

Little girl: cos cos he never TOLD me he was black.

Updated:  16 April 2018/Responsible Officer:  Freilich Project/Page Contact:  Herbert & Valmae Freilich Project