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[LISTEN] My experience being a pupil of colour in a private girls school

30 June 2020 12:58 PM
Tags:
Racism in schools
POC
'#blacklivesmatter

Danielle Gilbert speaks to Zain Johnson about her time at a private girls school in Cape Town and the pressure to assimilate...

The past month has seen pupils past and present speaking out about their experiences of racism at some of the country's top schools.

In the wake of #BlackLivesMatter, learners and alumni have exposed years and years of the institutionalised racism they say suffered at the hands of teachers and fellow pupils.

Danielle Gilbert is one such former private school pupil, she joined Cape Talk's Zain Johnson to talk about her experience.

My struggles were mostly social. Coming from the Cape Flats and having to integrate into a Southern Suburbs, predominantly white school was difficult.

Danielle Gilbert

Walking into a school where nobody looked like me, none of the teachers looked like me and my name was pronounced differently.

Danielle Gilbert

Gilbert says many of the schools which have been accused of racism and racist policies are over a hundred years old and have a strong colonialist past.

It runs really deep because it's the foundation on which the schools were built.

Danielle Gilbert

An Instagram account set up for students of colour to share their experiences has nearly 12 000 followers and over 290 posts.

Among the schools named by contributors to the You Silence We Amplify account are SACS, Rustenberg Girls’ High, Rondebosch Boys’ High, Westerford High and Bishops.

Gilbert says she felt a sense of relief upon reading some of the stories.

For the first time you realise that you're not alone. It wasn't just you. You weren't imagining it. You weren't exaggerating those memories.

Danielle Gilbert

There are now calls for elite schools across the country to reform their policies that directly or indirectly discriminate against certain students.

RELATED: Where to from here? Dismantling systemic racism in South Africa's elite schools

Click below to listen as Danielle shares her story:


30 June 2020 12:58 PM
Tags:
Racism in schools
POC
'#blacklivesmatter

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