The color of sin

black and white picture of the school of Save in Rwanda in the 50's
The “White Sisters of Africa” with mixed-race children at the Save institute in Rwanda

In 1908, Congo is put under Belgian rule. During 52 years, thousands of young Belgian men are sent to the colonies to settle there. Lots of them have extramarital relationships with native women (interraced weddings are frowned upon) and many children emerge from these unions.

The coffee-coloured babies bother the Belgian authorities: neither black nor white, they disturb the colonial order of things. They are quickly taken away from their mothers, disowned by their fathers and placed in special institutions separated from the rest of the society. In 1959, right before Congo’s independence, they are all sent to Belgium in charter planes.  Adopted or put in institutions, they are left with no possibility to contact their African family.

Today, tired of the silence surrounding their story, the Belgian mixed-race have decided to speak up. Find out about the struggles of Luc, Eveline, Charles and François, carriers of “the color of sin”. Full article available here in French.