An Immoral Proposal: Forbidden Love Under Apartheid

Guest article by: Jennifer B. Graham

An Immoral Proposal

Picture this. She’s from a lower socio economic family, left school at sixteen, works as clerk in a factory. He’s from an affluent background, private school education, university degree, member of exclusive social clubs, home in the leafy suburbs. What’s the likelihood of their having a relationship: Intimacy? – Probably not. Physical? – For sure. But would it last? Not a chance. In fact, they’re courting danger. You see, she’s Brown and he’s White. Big problem. This is South Africa 1974, the height of apartheid.

In her first memoir, Jennifer B. Graham takes an emotional journey back to her childhood in a hostile land that legally classified her as a “Coloured” – officially defined by the apartheid government as a “person who fails to pass for white.” Throughout her fragmented life, coupled with being both Non-black and Non-White, struggling to find a place to belong, she carves out her version of an ordered world. Her quest is exacerbated by the love of a man who dared to make An Immoral Proposal.

My birth certificate classifies me as “Cape Coloured”

(` Coloured ` as in mixed race).

The ‘Cape’ part is easy to understand, that’s the region where I started life, but ‘Coloured’? Who are the Coloureds then?

~ Jennifer B. Graham (Kindle Locations 104-106).

Review by L. Wilden on Amazon: A beautiful story…thank goodness the world has changed! 

This is a well written story which I was so sorry to finish…I wished it was longer! It is very true I think, to the South Africa I visited in 1969, but as a tourist I could only imagine the troubles and miseries happening under apartheid.

This is a very real account of two peoples’ lives almost ruined by the State. This exciting account is a wonderful, lasting account of perseverance and joy growing from the darkest place. I felt encouraged and uplifted by this story!

Available on Amazon


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