Maang: Bagaan Di (a Message for My Elder Sister)


I was a young, impressionable Aboriginal Australian when I first saw her; she was stating her view on television, cleverly honing her point with flashing white teeth which contrasted against her dark skin. What a wit! It was May 1964, the era of black and white television: The Beatles, Twiggy, a mini-skirted "Shrimp", assassinations, Viet Nam and a new generation of Aboriginal Australians who voiced their concerns with such articulate ferocity they forced the world to listen. "Kath Walker — Activist" the superimposed caption read at the bottom of the frame of the television screen; and her teeth flashed and her cutting wit entered our living rooms. She said her first book We Are Going allowed white "ostriches" to see the Aboriginal point of view.

The full text of this essay is available to ALS subscribers

Please sign in to access this article and the rest of our archive.

Published 1 November 1994 in Oodgeroo: a tribute. Subjects: Aboriginal dispossession, Aboriginal women writers, Literary influences, Social injustice.

Cite as: McLaren, Philip. ‘Maang: Bagaan Di (a Message for My Elder Sister).’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 16, no. 4, 1994, doi: 10.20314/als.8adc083dee.