Peter Clarke (1929 - )
Maria van der Kaap

mixed media
50 x 35cm

I know that among the neighbours are those who discourage familiarity
with my family. They speak of having more than just a touch of the tarbrush.
They suggest that my great grand father was probably a Malgas slave & that
my mother & grandmother came into being among the riff raff in the Slave
Lodge in Heerengracht & cost only a few dalers each when sold under the
slave tree in Spin Street.
My master cohabited with me & made me with child. There followed another
- & another. Eventually I was given my freedom. After I bore his fifth
child he married me. Now lying in bed with me the man who was my lover &
now is my husband says I must not concern myself with whatever people might
have to say about us. He says in years to come offspring will marry their
children's children. Then, no matter their surnames, as white or as brown as their
skin might be, they'll all be of mixed origin.
Together with the blood of ancestors who came from Holland, France & England
they'll have the blood of slaves who came from God alone knows where all flowing
in their veins. My husband says we won't live to see it, but the time will come when
it won't matter who our fore fathers were. It won't matter at all. Perhaps our offspring
will even be among those regarded as prominent people in this country.

2005 Michael Stevenson. All rights reserved.