A Myth of Racial Purity

The young American couple and their blonde children next door are leaving Ghana. “Too poor,” they say. They’ve had enough.



Children of the Damned from the 1960 British horror film Village of the Damned.

The young American couple and their blonde children next door are leaving Ghana. “Too poor,” they say. “One minute, water no lights. Next minute, lights no water.” They’ve had enough.

After five years of working to improve education in the country where their children were born, they’re packing their bags and hauling their doll-like off-springs back to the good ole U-S-of-A. Colorado, I believe.

I’m relaying this story to you, second-hand from one of their hired help. I’ve never actually seen the parents in the two years I’ve lived here, but their children have fascinated me. Lovely, well-mannered kids, but they never say a word to me. They just stare. Though, I hear, they’ll point out “Rasta house” to anyone in passing.

Being born in Ghana, they speak Twi, too, apparently. But I can never see them without thinking of those ‘Children of the Damned.’ Remember that film, Village of the Damned or the sequel with those scary-looking blonde-haired, blue-eyed kids? I know, it’s wrong. But that’s what comes to mind whenever I see them.

Living Dolls: 25% West African but blonde and blue-eyed.

Here they are pictured in my yard with their Ghanaian nanny. They share the same milk-white, almost luminous pale skin colour as the children in that movie, combined with the brightest fine, blonde hair, cherublike features, and piercing blue eyes. All of which really sets them apart in this sub-Saharan environment. Yet these children seem to have no problems walking around all day under a scorching sun that never seems to darken their skin but bleaches their hair even brighter.

Then, a few weeks ago, it hit me like a rock when I met their mother for the first time. Imagine a tall, powerfully built, Amazonian woman the colour of wet sand, thick, kinky auburn hair, not too unlike my own in texture, and firm, strong, long arms and legs. Got the picture?

I had been looking out for two white parents all this time, but this woman clearly was…




Often found in far-flung places reading Walter Mosley with a rucksack on his back.