Imagine this: You have a child playing in your front yard. As you watch through the window, a van of policemen pulls up. They walk past your front gate and take your screaming child away. You never see your child again.
And it’s all legal.
This man never knew his real family.
Aboriginal pupils in the junior class of St. Joseph’s Catholic Mission school at Hammond Island. (Photo: Alan Lambert/The AGE/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
This is what happened to Deanne Kenyon’s grandfather and countless other Aboriginals in Australia from 1906 up until the 1970s — all because of the color of their skin. Children who were very dark were allowed to stay with their parents, causing many indigenous people to dye their children’s skin dark using the sap of the milkwood tree. But if a child looked as if he had any white ancestry, he was taken away. Some, if they were white enough, were adopted by white families, but the majority were sent to harsh missionary schools, where they were purged of their history, past, and memories and taught how to “fit in” to white Australian society.
Aboriginal Elder Nancy Hill-Wood from Sydney holds a protest banner in front of Old Parliament House on February 11, 2008 in Canberra, Australia. Aborigines arrive in Canberra for apology to the stolen generations. (Photo: Andrew Sheargold/Getty Images)