Throwback Thursday – How Far We’ve Come!!!



It is very easy to look at this picture and be reminded of the past and how far we have come as a race and a people – however, I spent a few more seconds gazing at this pic and noted some things:

1- The fact that the African woman is in the pic in the first place is AMAZING. This happens to be a “happy family” picture (for lack of a better definition) – why do I say this you ask? When last did you watch ‘Top Billing’? (the so-called glamour showcase on SABC 3 that pumps a lifestyle to a nation where only 2% of its population are allowed to dream of such a lifestyle) – comparing this picture to Top Billing, the difference is, the capturer of this picture thought it fit to include his domestic servant in the “happy shot” – a practice not usually showcased on TV today.

2- I do not believe the African woman was instructed to kneel as she did in the pic, I doubt she completely understood how photography worked. For reference sake, look at the TV set in the background, this must be at least 3 decades ago – photography and poses weren’t ABC back then. I choose to believe that she was called to join the pic and she took a position she was “used to” or made to believe she should take.

3- Imagine if she would have been standing! I am sure she would have felt she was out of the shot. Further, with my little experience in photography, I can tell you the cameraman “himself” was either with knees bent or a little bit below height.

We could talk more on the many racial components of this picture, including the expression on the African woman’s face vs the white family but how progressive would such a discussion be? Therefore to conclude, with my argument that white families in the past included their domestic workers in “family shots” and today, in 2013, SABC 3 Top Billing doesn’t the question should then become…. How far have we come?

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