In a Cape Town, South African Colored high school rife with the inequalities of apartheid, Mrs. Hilda Levin, my English teacher, represented a beacon of hope and encouragement. She was a White teacher, venturing each day into the Colored neighborhood where I lived (apartheid’s success was evident in our tendency to think in terms of racial categories); a courageous act in the volatile 1980s, when such teachers were compensated with danger pay. Barely five feet tall, she nonetheless made great demands on me and my classmates. She urged me to write creatively, and often. She proposed thought-provoking topics – or no topic at all. Once she got to know my interests and abilities, she offered suggestions of books to read. Thus I encountered the writings of Ayn Rand, and Harper Lee. She taught me the rules of English grammar and assorted writing styles – all of which stood me in good stead when, three years later, I entered a US university, and was able to edit papers for fellow students. But Mrs. Levin’s support extended beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Amidst the many disruptions generated by student boycotts, she remained at school late into the day, to assist us