Thursday, March 23, 2006
I was lent a copy of Henry Reynolds' Nowhere People last night and read it on the way home and on the way back to work this morning. Highly recommended. He traces the western attitude to 'half-castes' with an Australian focus of course and addresses the issue which irritated me in the Good Weekend four or five years ago when they did a profile on Reynolds and suggested he had Aboriginal ancestry of his own, as if this was the only feasible explanation for why someone would be so interested in Aboriginal history. In fact it appears there is every chance he does, via his father's mother, though there is really no proof one way or the other. I would say if there is anything about Reynolds' interest in Aboriginal history that comes from his background it's his father's own odd attitude to race. But the personal aspect only bookends an otherwise very interesting and important overview of racial attitudes in Australia.