Clever Girls pp 271-283 | Cite as


  • Motsabi Rooper


As the daughter of a Black South African father who worked with ex-offenders and a white British mother who worked as a BBC television producer, my upbringing presented me with dilemmas around which world I ‘properly’ inhabited. This autoethnographic story traces how I experienced education as a struggle to reconcile my parents’ unspoken aspirations for me to be ‘middle class’, with the contradictory messaging I received from my peers, teachers and society about being a person of colour. It encapsulates the loneliness I felt in navigating this and my struggle for the ultimate ticket to what I thought would be acceptance and belonging; becoming a ‘clever girl’.


Reading Racism Dual heritage Silencing Belonging 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Motsabi Rooper
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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