||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
Sandra Laing (born 1955) is a woman who was born to white parents but reclassified as Coloured during the apartheid era in South Africa as she has dark skin. She is the subject of the 2008 biographical film Skin and is the feature of the documentaries In Search of Sandra Laing (1977), Sandra Laing: A Spiritual Journey (2000) and Skin Deep: The Story of Sandra Laing (2009).
Early life 
Sandra was born in Piet Retief, a small conservative town in apartheid South Africa. Both Sandra's parents and all her grandparents were white. Her older brother was also white but Sandra and her younger brother had African features. Sandra's parents were both members of the National Party and supporters of the Apartheid system.
During apartheid, schools were segregated; however, since both her parents were white, she was sent to an all-white school. Her parents hoped that as she got older she would get lighter; however, instead she grew darker and her hair became more tightly coiled. At boarding school she was shunned by the other students because of her skin color.
Legal battles 
When Sandra was 10 years old, the school authorities expelled her from her all-white school based on the complexion of her skin and a failed pencil test. She was escorted home by two police officers who refused to tell her what she had done wrong. Her parents fought several legal battles to have her declared white. Her father underwent a blood typing test for paternity in the 1960s, as DNA tests were not yet available. The results were compatible with him being her biological father.
Later years 
Since she was shunned by the white community, Laing's only friends were the children of black employees. At age 15, she eloped with a black South African to Swaziland. She was jailed for three months for illegal border-crossing. Her father threatened to kill her and broke off contact with her. They never met again and she remained estranged from her family, with the exception of secret trips to visit her mother at times when her father was away from the home. When her parents moved away from Piet Retief, the clandestine visits were no longer possible and Laing lost contact with her family completely.
Years after the death of her father, Laing managed to track down her mother, Sannie, in a nursing home shortly before the woman died in 2001, but a succession of strokes had stolen Sannie's memory. A book called When She Was White by Judith Stone reports that Sannie did remember Sandra and was happy to see her. As of 2009, Sandra Laing's brothers, both of whom were still alive, were maintaining their refusal to have any contact with her, though she said in an interview that she continued to hope they would some day have a change of heart.
- Kim Hawkey (10 January 2010). "Apartheid got under her skin". Sunday Times (South Africa).
- Rory Carroll (17 March 2003). "The black woman - with white parents". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2003.
- "The Tragic Story of How a White Girl Being Born Black Tore a Family Apart". London: The Daily Mail. 19 December 2008. Retrieved 2011-08-16.
- Skin movie official website
- Mail&Guardian Skin movie review
- 'Black Afrikaner' story to become film
- Article on Laing from the Daily Mail