I recall a short story, presumably written at the time of the US civil rights movement or the battle against South Africa's apartheid, about racism. One day, it started raining. The rain turned everyone's skin green. There was joy that we could no longer differentiate by skin colour, so discrimination and racism had to end. Until those with darker green skin gained power and started forcing those with lighter green skin to sit at the back of the bus...

Does anyone recognise this plot and could you provide the title and author? Thank you for any assistance.

  • 2
    I don't recognise this as the plot of a story but as the premise of a joke. The driver of a bus with segregated seating (whites in front, blacks at the back) is tired of all the protests and conflicts and tells everyone that there is no more black or white, only green. "Now, light green sit in the front, dark green at the back." I've known this joke since the late 1970s.
    – user45485
    Nov 15, 2016 at 22:26
  • Thank you! Fascinating that you know it as a joke--which led me to discover the mention at urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Xenophobia Perhaps I am misremembering the joke as a story--or perhaps the joke came from a segregation or apartheid era short story. Thank you again.
    – Ian K.
    Nov 17, 2016 at 12:24

1 Answer 1


This is titled 'The Green Rain' (1960) by Paul Tabori I personally remember reading it in the early seventies, it was a thin paperback.

As news spread of the rainclouds gathering anew the police were out in rainwear to enforce a curfew....in the 'Southern States'

Again there's very little online about it


From the blurb in Goodreads:-

The first green rain produced a result which some considered almost comical: everyone caught out in it was turned green, and there was no known way of changing back.

The result was predictable: emergence of crackpot cults, religious prophecies of doom, and something tragically new in racial violence.

Then the second green rain came, the really serious one

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