A family photo

This is a photo of an extended family classified as ‘Coloured’ with roots in Cape Town, Kimberley & Pretoria. The photo was taken in Thornton, Cape Town at Christmas 2000 by Henry Trotter, to whom these family members are in-laws. They comprise the Binghams, the Abrahams, the Bayards and the Fortunes.
Used with permission. The family DNA results appears in the section on DNA.

The roots that are revealed by our ancestral and cultural heritage, linked to our social history, can tell a very different story about who we are than we may think. The journey through the Camissa Museum will encourage you to look more deeply at the past and puts forward the idea that none but ourselves can free our minds.

Many of us have been conditioned to see our identity as being defined by skin colour, facial features and hair within a construct of race, ethnicity, primacy and present geographic location. We are also conditioned to believe that there is one single root that defines us. We are further conditioned to look at ourselves in contrast to those we believe to be 'the other'. Many of us believe that there is something called a pure identity. In reality, all of humanity today has multiple roots and we are all connected in history. In fact, much of what bonds social groups today are collective experiences.

People of different origins

For those who were labelled 'Coloured', our ancestral roots and cultural heritage is most defined by having faced and risen above specific adversities or crimes against humanity - colonialism, slavery, ethnocide and genocide, forced removals, de-Africanisation and Apartheid. It is also defined by having multiple roots which represents a coming together of African (68%) and Asian (32%) ancestors with some non-conformist European roots.

Exploring our ancestral roots and cultural heritage can help us understand each other and our present challenges and assist you on your personal growth and discovery path. It also helps to build community cohesion. By knowing your ancestral-cultural roots you are better able to navigate your future.

As we grow in our understanding of our roots, we will discover that we are much more connected to each other than we know. This deeper understanding will also reveal how ignorance about ourselves and others feeds racism, Afrophobia and xenophobia. We must resist this ignorance!

People of different origins

How Apartheid Affected Coloured People
- René Moses -
Wrestling With Identity - What Does 'Coloured' Mean?
Growing up under the apartheid regime, René recalls how her own family was almost torn apart because of different skin tones.
[06:06] HeartlinesZA
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