• James Robinson

One Hour's Observations on a Sunny Winter Morning in Cape Town


Tourists, the Company Gardens, fat squirrels fed daily by children, homeless humans sitting under trees, everywhere asking for money or goods, the South African National Gallery, cardboard signs saying this could be your home give to NGOs serving the homeless. I think to myself that those without homes are without more than adequate shelter.

Museums preserving the memories and legacies of the oppressed people of Cape Town past, two young teenage Black boys appearing to be homeless finish a joint and rise to attempt to sell post cards, high end clothing stores, American fast food, street vendors with African trinkets and such for us tourists in Cape Town present.

A homeless Black man lies under a tree soaking up the sun while a homeless Black woman sits under another tree feeling the warmth of the same Winter sun, both with their bags of valued possessions nearby, while an American White man from Alabama who carries the privileges of his birth sits enjoying the same sun on the steps of the South African National Gallery.

I listen to diverse accents of other White men and women who take ‘selfies’ nearby, speaking of Passports and their plans for the day. A heron stalks fish in an ornate garden pool while pigeons and Egyptian geese socialize raucously.

One hour of a beautiful day in Cape Town, a beautiful day for a White man from Alabama because I am exploring, observing, writing, and later today I will meet the man I love. We may walk the streets of the city, sit in the sun together, and eventually return to our home on Main Road, Green Point. Our home, in a desirable area to live in Cape Town. I wonder what the two boys will do tonight when it gets cold, where the homeless man and woman sitting in the sun nearby will eat and sleep. I rise to enter the South African National Gallery.

Cape Town, New York City, San Francisco, Birmingham, Atlanta, and countless other cities around the world ... we share the same challenges which sadly appear to be Universally Human.


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