Black Lives Matter: A Singaporean's perspective

My experience of a racially segregated America in the 1960s drove home the deep historical roots of racism there

New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

I went to the United States in 1963 to study at Harvard Law School. Coming from multiracial Singapore, I was quite shocked to find that America had a system of racial segregation akin to apartheid.

The few black students in my class, for example, could not eat at some restaurants which did not welcome black people. They could not stay at some hotels for the same reason. In 1963, the blacks in America were treated as second-class citizens.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2020, with the headline Black Lives Matter: A Singaporean's perspective. Subscribe