Nadine Gordimer (1923 – 2014)

ImgresNadine Gordimer in Granta (2005):

'Beethoven was one sixteenth black,' the presenter of a classical music programme on the radio announces along with the names of musicians who will be heard playing the String Quartets No. 13 Op. 130 and No 16 Op. 135.

Does the presenter make the claim as restitution for Beethoven? Presenter's voice and cadence give him away as irremediably white. Is one sixteenth an unspoken wish for himself?

Once there were blacks wanting to be white.

Now there are whites wanting to be black.

It's the same secret.

Frederick Morris (of course that's not his name, you'll soon catch on I'm writing about myself, a man with the same initials) is an academic who teaches biology and was an activist back in the apartheid time, among other illegal shenanigans an amateur cartoonist of some talent who made posters depicting the regime's leaders as the ghoulish murderers they were and, more boldly, joined groups to paste these on city walls.

more here.