BECHUANALAND: Banished Forever

A ray of sunshine reached down through Britain's gloomy House of Commons last week and glanced brightly off a pale gold wedding ring on the hand of a young Negro in the visitors' gallery. It was a fortuitous spotlighting of a matter then before the House: under sharp debate on the floor was the political consequence of the gleaming wedding ring.

Back in 1948 Oxford-educated Seretse Khama, chief-designate of Bechuanaland's Bamangwato tribe, married a blonde English clerk named Ruth Williams. At first the tribal elders were outraged, but later, after tribal council, they accepted Seretse and his white wife. But...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!