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Norman McFarlane was just out of high school when he was conscripted for national service and sent to Angola.
Like so many other ordinary troopies, he was thrown into the horror, deprivation and banality of war. He recounts his loss of innocence in Angola, the subsequent ‘camps’ and his journey towards confronting his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Told with disarming honesty and humour, he gives voice to a generation of white South African men forced into a grisly, life-defining experience.
Raised during the Rhodesian bush war in the 1970s and then immigrating to South Africa at the age of 11, Terry is shaped by a white culture that is racist, unstable, privileged and deeply divided. Her childhood appears idyllic but it is tragically bizarre as the adults around her insist on living their version of normality while the world falls apart.
The first time Terry Angelos has sex with a black man, she's paid £300, working as a 19 year-old call girl in London. Back home it's 1989 and South Africa is being torn apart by political unrest. It's a year before Nelson Mandela is released and 5 years before the country's first democratic election.
White Trash is a remarkable memoir told in vivid detail, laced with dark humour and savage honesty as the narrator unravels what it means to be a white African and what draws her into the brutal world of teenage sex work. But ultimately it's a story about finding a shard of light in the darkness, in a heroic quest to reinvent the self.
South Africa’s pre-eminent historian explains the spectacular rise – and probable demise – of the numerical minority that dominated 20th-century South Africa.
The Afrikaners are unique in the world in that they successfully mobilised ethnic entrepreneurship without state assistance, controlled the entire country, and then yielded power without military defeat. Award-winning author Hermann Giliomee takes a hard analytical look at this group’s dramatic ascent and possible disappearance as a nation in a series of well-argued thematic chapters. Topics range from ethnic entrepreneurship, the ‘coloured vote’ and ‘Bantu’ education to Nelson Mandela’s relationship with the last Afrikaner leaders.
It ends with a final chapter on the most likely future for this sometimes admired, often reviled group, which undoubtedly left the largest imprint on South African history in the 20th century.
In the shattered fantasy of rainbow-nation South Africa, there are many uncomfortable truths. Among these are family secrets - the legacies of traumas in the homes and bones of ordinary South African families.
In this debut collection, feminist and Khoi San activist Kelly-Eve Koopman grapples with the complex beauty and brutality of the everyday as she struggles with her family legacy. She tries unsuccessfully to forget her father - a not-so-prominent journalist and anti-apartheid activist, desperately mentally ill and expertly emotionally abusive - who has recently disappeared, leaving behind a wake of difficult memories. Mesmerisingly, Koopman wades through the flotsam and jetsam of generations, among shipwrecks and sunken treasures, in an attempt at familial and collective healing.
Sometimes tragic, sometimes hilarious, she faces up to herself as a brown, newly privileged "elder millennial", caught between middle-class aspirations and social justice ideals. An artist, a daughter, a queer woman in love, she is in pursuit of healing, while trying to lose those last 5 kilograms, to the great disappointment of her feminist self.
Born Karoline King in 1980 in Johannesburg South Africa, Sara-Jayne (as she will later be called by her adoptive parents) is the result of an affair, illegal under apartheid’s Immorality Act, between a white British woman and her black South African employee. Her story reveals the shocking lie created to cover up the forbidden relationship, and the hurried overseas adoption of the illegitimate baby, born during one of history’s most inhumane and destructive regimes.
Killing Karoline follows the journey of the baby girl (categorised as ‘white’ under South Africa’s race classification system) who is raised in a leafy, middle-class corner of the South of England by a white couple. It takes the reader through the formative years, a difficult adolescence and into adulthood, as Sara-Jayne (Karoline) seeks to discover who she is and where she came from. Plagued by questions surrounding her own identity and unable to ‘fit in’ Sara-Jayne (Karoline) begins to turn on herself, before eventually coming full circle and returning to South Africa after 26 years to face her demons. There she is forced to face issues of identity, race, rejection and belonging beyond that which she could ever have imagined.
She must also face her birth family, who in turn must confront what happens when the baby you kill off at a mere six weeks old, returns from the dead.
Charles Abrahams is a world-class lawyer who sued multinationals for colluding with the apartheid government, but at twelve he was determined to become a world-famous heartsurgeon. Then a school inspector shattered his dream: coloured children from the Cape Flats 'should not aim too high'. Class Action is the story of how Charles aimed high anyway, despite a childhood that included forced removal, dire poverty and the deep sense of shame of being neither white nor a 'white coloured'. As one of eleven children in a poor family, he experienced constant hardship and family strife.
Violence was ubiquitous: his street was notorious for its gang fights, his father abused his mother at home, and schoolteachers beat darker-skinned children like him. Charles wanted a larger life, and he found it through student politics, anti-apartheid activism and reading. He studied relentlessly, finding not only formidable political weapons, but a means to delve into the damage apartheid had done to his personal identity, selfesteem, sexuality and morality. He went on to qualify as a lawyer and, after defending local gangsters, he sought to do good through human-rights and class-action law. He has since spearheaded some of South Africaís most historic, groundbreaking lawsuits, pursuing justice for ordinary citizens whose lives were ruined by powers too profit-driven to ever think about them.
Class Action depicts a remarkable journey of resistance and healing in reaction to institutionalised greed and racism and the harm it has done to our identities, our relationships and the people of our country.
This book provides an overdue critical re-engagement with the analytical approach exemplified by the work of Harold Wolpe, who was a key theorist within the liberation movement. It probes the following broad questions: how do we understand the trajectory of the post-apartheid period, how did the current situation come about
in the transformation, how does the current situation relate to how a post-apartheid society was conceived in anticipation, and what are the implications of what have been failed ambitions for progressives?
South African higher education students have for the years 2015 and 2016 stood up to demand not only a free education but a decolonised, African-focused education. The calls for decolonisation of knowledge are the ultimate call for freedom. Without the decolonisation of knowledge, Africans may feel their liberation is inchoate and their efforts to shed Western dominance all come to naught.
Over the years various African leaders including Steve Biko wrote about the need to decolonise knowledge. The call for decolonisation is largely being equated with the search for an African identity that looks critically at Western hegemony. Biko sought the black people to understand their origins; to understand black history and affirm black identity. These are all embedded in the struggle to decolonise and search for African values and identities.
The contributors in this book treat several but connected themes that define what Africa and the diaspora require for a society devoid of colonialism and ready for a renewed Africa. “The discussions we develop and the philosophies we adopt on Pan Africanism and decolonisation are due to a bigger vision and for many of us the destination is African renaissance”. Everyone has a role to play in realising African renaissance; government, churches, universities, schools, cultural organisations all have a role to play in this endeavour.
MISTRA's publication on Whiteness Afrikaans Afrikaners: Addressing Post-Apartheid Legacies, Privileges and Burdens consists of various thought-provoking contributions made at a roundtable held in 2015 at Constitution Hill as a continuation of MISTRA’s research on nation formation and social cohesion. The publication aims to enhance the understanding of the history of whiteness in all its socio-economic manifestations as well as the architecture of power relations and privileges in democratic South Africa.
The volume comprises of contributions by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, current Deputy Minister of Cogta, Andries Nel, Mary Burton, Christi van der Westhuizen, Lynette Steenveld, Bobby Godsell, Dirk Herman (of Solidarity), Ernst Roets (of Afriforum), Xhanti Payi, Mathatha Tsedu, Pieter Duvenage, Hein Willemse, Nico Koopman, Melissa Steyn, Achille Mbembe and Mathews Phosa.
In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. In From servants to workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africa's 'miraculous' transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the world's most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernise paid domestic work through state regulation. Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labour. From Servants to workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialise.
Decolonising the Human examines the ongoing project of constituting ‘the human’ in light of the durability of coloniality and the persistence of multiple oppressions
The ‘human’ emerges as a deeply political category, historically constructed as a scarce existential resource. Once weaponised, it allows for the social, political and economic elevation of those who are centred within its magic circle, and the degradation, marginalisation and immiseration of those excluded as the different and inferior Other, the less than human.
Speaking from Africa, a key site where the category of the human has been used throughout European modernity to control, exclude and deny equality of being, the contributors use decoloniality as a potent theoretical and philosophical tool, gesturing towards a liberated, pluriversal world where human difference will be recognised as a gift, not used to police the boundaries of the human. Here is a transdisciplinary critical exploration of a wide range of subjects, including history, politics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology and decolonial studies.
The most significant nonfiction writings of ZoŽ Wicomb, one of South Africa’s leading authors and intellectuals, are collected here for the first time in a single volume.
This compilation features critical essays on the works of such prominent South African writers as Bessie Head, Nadine Gordimer, Njabulo Ndebele, and J.M. Coetzee, as well as writings on gender politics, race, identity, visual art, sexuality and a wide range of other cultural and political topics. Also included are a reflection on Nelson Mandela and a revealing interview with Wicomb.
In these essays, written between 1990 and 2013, Wicomb offers insight on her nation’s history, policies, and people. In a world in which nationalist rhetoric is on the rise and diversity and pluralism are the declared enemies of right-wing populist movements, her essays speak powerfully to a wide range of international issues.
Making the radical argument that the nation-state was born of colonialism, this book calls us to rethink political violence and reimagine political community beyond majorities and minorities.
In this genealogy of political modernity, Mahmood Mamdani argues that the nation-state and the colonial state created each other. In case after case around the globe—from the New World to South Africa, Israel to Germany to Sudan—the colonial state and the nation-state have been mutually constructed through the politicization of a religious or ethnic majority at the expense of an equally manufactured minority.
The model emerged in North America, where genocide and internment on reservations created both a permanent native underclass and the physical and ideological spaces in which new immigrant identities crystallized as a settler nation. In Europe, this template would be used by the Nazis to address the Jewish Question, and after the fall of the Third Reich, by the Allies to redraw the boundaries of Eastern Europe’s nation-states, cleansing them of their minorities. After Nuremberg the template was used to preserve the idea of the Jews as a separate nation. By establishing Israel through the minoritization of Palestinian Arabs, Zionist settlers followed the North American example. The result has been another cycle of violence. Neither Settler nor Native offers a vision for arresting this historical process.
Mamdani rejects the “criminal” solution attempted at Nuremberg, which held individual perpetrators responsible without questioning Nazism as a political project and thus the violence of the nation-state itself. Instead, political violence demands political solutions: not criminal justice for perpetrators but a rethinking of the political community for all survivors—victims, perpetrators, bystanders, beneficiaries—based on common residence and the commitment to build a common future without the permanent political identities of settler and native. Mamdani points to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa as an unfinished project, seeking a state without a nation.
Romare Bearden (1911-1988), one of the most prolific, original, and acclaimed American artists of the twentieth century, richly depicted scenes and figures rooted in the American South and the Black experience. Bearden hailed from North Carolina but was forced to relocate to the North when a white mob harassed them in the 1910s. His family story is a compelling, complicated saga of Black middle-class achievement in the face of relentless waves of white supremacy. It is also a narrative of the generational trauma that slavery and racism inflicted over decades. But as Glenda Gilmore reveals in this trenchant reappraisal of Bearden's life and art, his work reveals his deep imagination, extensive training and rich knowledge of art history. Gilmore explores four generations of Bearden's family and highlights his experiences in North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and Harlem. She engages deeply with Bearden's art and considers it as an alternative archive that offers a unique perspective on the history, memory, and collective imagination of Black southerners who migrated to the North. In doing so, she revises and deepens our appreciation of Bearden's place in the artistic canon and our understanding of his relationship to southern, African American, and American cultural and social history.
"Quiara Hudes is in her own league. Her sentences will take your breath away. How lucky we are to have her telling our stories." - Lin-Manuel Miranda From the Pulitzer-prize winning playwright behind IN THE HEIGHTS comes a spellbinding coming-of-age story, and a vibrant and life-affirming celebration of the women who guide us. Born in Philadelphia to a Jewish father and an enigmatic Puerto Rican mother, Quiara Alegria Hudes had a love-and-trouble-filled upbringing, haunted by the unspoken, untold family secrets of the barrio. In the face of real world wounds, the powerful, Orisha-like women of her family possessed a strength, joy and sensuality that left a young Quiara awe struck. She vowed to tell their stories. But confronted by a world that treated her like an outsider, Quiara knew she must find a new language, one which reflected the multiple cultures that raised this Puerto Rican child of North Philly. Written and spoken, English and Spanish, sacred and profane - as her search for a way to share her family's story deepened, an artist emerged, ready to speak her truth. An inspired exploration of home, family and memory, My BROKEN LANGUAGE is the story of a sharp-eyed observer who finds her voice and learns to boldly tell the stories that only she can tell.
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We Know We're Not White: Author Interview on San Diego Weekly Reader
aGomez sets out to write aan antidote to historical amnesia
about the key nineteenth-century events that produced the first
Mexican Americans.a A law professor at the University of New
Mexico, Gomez takes a three-pronged approach: she looks at Chicano
history via sociology, history, and law, using New Mexico as a case
study. At the heart of the book is the idea that Manifest Destiny
was not, according to Gomez, a neutral political theory. Rather, it
was a potent ideology that endowed white Americans with a sense of
entitlement to the land and racial superiority over its
aShows the impacts (then, as now) of the dominant white racist frame coming in from outside what was once northern Mexico.a--"Racism Review"
"[A]n interesting and comprehensive look at what New Mexicans
really lost after being conquered by the United States."
aGomezas insights into the struggles at play in the
nineteenth-century Southwest are extremely relevant for today--a
time in which identity politics are still predominant in
discussions about culture. . . . With Chicanos making up the
youngest racial group in America (34 percent are under the age of
18), the complicated relationship between the U.S. and its Mexican
citizens is clearly something that is going to be on the table for
a long time to come. Manifest Destinies presents a portrait of the
forces that were present when this group was still in its
aAre Mexican Americans a racial or ethnic group? This is the
important question ManifestDestinies asks and answers. . . .
Marvelous, dense, and richly researched.a
aHighlights the largely neglected history of multiracial
populations that, throughout our nationas history, have come
together along the frontier. With her analysis of racial ideologies
. . . Gomez promises to make a valuable contribution to this
aAnyone interested in understanding the historical experience of
the largest ethnic group in the country will find Manifest
Destinies both timely and of great interest. . . . Simply put, her
work is first rate in every way.a
In both the historic record and the popular imagination, the story of nineteenth-century westward expansion in America has been characterized by notions of annexation rather than colonialism, of opening rather than conquering, and of settling unpopulated lands rather than displacing existing populations.
Using the territory that is now New Mexico as a case study, Manifest Destinies traces the origins of Mexican Americans as a racial group in the United States, paying particular attention to shifting meanings of race and law in the nineteenth century.
Laura E. Gomez explores the central paradox of Mexican American racial status as entailing the law's designation of Mexican Americans as "white" and their simultaneous social position as non-white in American society. She tells a neglected story of conflict, conquest, cooperation, and competition among Mexicans, Indians, andEuro-Americans, the regionas three main populations who were the key architects and victims of the laws that dictated what oneas race was and how people would be treated by the law according to oneas race.
Gomezas pathbreaking work--spanning the disciplines of law, history, and sociology--reveals how the construction of Mexicans as an American racial group proved central to the larger process of restructuring the American racial order from the Mexican War (1846-48) to the early twentieth century. The emphasis on white-over-black relations during this period has obscured the significant role played by the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the colonization of northern Mexico in the racial subordination of black Americans.
Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers develops an argument about how individual migrants, coming from four continents and diverse socioeconomic backgrounds, are in many ways affected by a violent categorisation that is often nihilistic, insistently racial, and continuously significant in the organization of society. The book also examines how relative privilege and storytelling act as instruments for these migrants to negotiate meanings and make their lives in this particular context.
This edited collection is based on a collaboration of humanities and social science scholars with individual immigrants, who engaged in narrative life-story research as their guiding methodology and applied various disciplinary analytical lenses.
Migrants, Thinkers, Storytellers provides a collection of diverse life stories and migratory experiences, and contributes diverse theoretical insights into the understanding of social identification during migration.
Police power was built on women's bodies. Men, especially Black men, often stand in as the ultimate symbol of the mass incarceration crisis in the United States. Women are treated as marginal, if not overlooked altogether, in histories of the criminal legal system. In this history-the first on the relationship between women and police in the modern United States-Anne Gray Fischer narrates how sexual policing fueled a dramatic expansion of police power. The enormous discretionary power that police officers wield to surveil, target, and arrest anyone they deem suspicious was tested, legitimized, and legalized through the policing of women's sexuality and right to move freely through city streets. Throughout the twentieth century, police departments achieved a stunning consolidation of urban authority through the strategic discretionary enforcement of morals laws, including disorderly conduct, vagrancy, and other prostitution-related misdemeanors. Between Prohibition in the 1920s and the rise of "broken windows" policing in the 1980s, police targeted white and Black women in distinct but interconnected ways. These tactics reveal the centrality of racist and sexist myths to the justification and deployment of state power. Sexual policing did not just enhance police power. It also transformed cities from segregated sites of "urban vice" into the gentrified sites of Black displacement and banishment we live in today.
Africa Reimagined is a passionately argued appeal for a rediscovery of our African identity. Going beyond the problems of a single country, Hlumelo Biko calls for a reorientation of values, on a continental scale, to suit the needs and priorities of Africans. Building on the premise that slavery, colonialism, imperialism and apartheid fundamentally unbalanced the values and indeed the very self-concept of Africans, he offers realistic steps to return to a more balanced Afro-centric identity.
Historically, African values were shaped by a sense of abundance, in material and mental terms, and by strong ties of community. The intrusion of religious, economic and legal systems imposed by conquerors, traders and missionaries upset this balance, and the African identity was subsumed by the values of the newcomers. Biko shows how a reimagining of Africa can restore the sense of abundance and possibility, and what a rebirth of the continent on Pan-African lines might look like. This is not about the churn of the news cycle or party politics – although he identifies the political party as one of the most pernicious legacies of colonialism. Instead, drawing on latest research, he offers a practical, pragmatic vision anchored in the here and now.
By looking beyond identities and values imposed from outside, and transcending the divisions and frontiers imposed under colonialism, it should be possible for Africans to develop fully their skills, values and ingenuity, to build institutions that reflect African values, and to create wealth for the benefit of the continent as a whole.
A highly anticipated memoir by Gabriel Byrne, the award-winning star of over 80 films, Walking with Ghosts is an exquisite portrait of an Irish childhood and a remarkable journey to Hollywood and Broadway success. "Make no mistake about it: Walking with Ghosts is a masterpiece. A book that will wring out our tired hearts. It is by turns poetic, moving, and very funny. You will find it on the shelf alongside other great Irish memoirs including those by Frank McCourt, Nuala O'Faolain and Edna O'Brien." --Colum McCann As a young boy growing up in the outskirts of Dublin, Gabriel Byrne sought refuge in a world of imagination among the fields and hills near his home, at the edge of a rapidly encroaching city. Born to working-class parents and the eldest of six children, he harbored a childhood desire to become a priest. When he was eleven years old, Byrne found himself crossing the Irish Sea to join a seminary in England. Four years later, Byrne had been expelled and he quickly returned to his native city. There he took odd jobs as a messenger boy and a factory laborer to get by. In his spare time, he visited the cinema where he could be alone and yet part of a crowd. It was here that he could begin to imagine a life beyond the grey world of 60s Ireland. He reveled in the theatre and poetry of Dublin's streets, populated by characters as eccentric and remarkable as any in fiction, those who spin a yarn with acuity and wit. It was a friend who suggested Byrne join an amateur drama group, a decision that would change his life forever and launch him on an extraordinary forty-year career in film and theatre. Moving between sensual recollection of childhood in a now almost vanished Ireland and reflections on stardom in Hollywood and Broadway, Byrne also courageously recounts his battle with addiction and the ambivalence of fame. Walking with Ghosts is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking as well as a lyrical homage to the people and landscapes that ultimately shape our destinies.
Drawing on psychological and sociological perspectives as well as quantitative and qualitative data, Identity and Interethnic Marriage in the United States considers the ways the self and social identity are linked to the dynamics of interethnic marriage. Bringing together the classic theoretical contributions of George Herbert Mead, Erving Goffman, and Erik Erikson with contemporary research on ethnic identity inspired by Jean Phinney, this book argues that the self and social identity-especially ethnic identity-are reflected in individuals' complex journey from singlehood to interethnic marriage within the United States.
Across America, the pure love and popularity of barbecue cookery has gone through the roof. Prepared in one regional style or another, in the South and beyond, barbecue is one of the nation's most distinctive culinary arts. And people aren't just eating it; they're also reading books and articles and watching TV shows about it. But why is it, asks Adrian Miller-admitted 'cuehead and longtime certified barbecue judge-that in today's barbecue culture African Americans don't get much love? In Black Smoke, Miller chronicles how Black barbecuers, pitmasters, and restauranteurs helped develop this cornerstone of American foodways and how they are coming into their own today. It's a smoke-filled story of Black perseverance, culinary innovation, and entrepreneurship. Though often pushed to the margins, African Americans have enriched a barbecue culture that has come to be embraced by all. Miller celebrates and restores the faces and stories of the men and women who have influenced this American cuisine. This beautifully illustrated chronicle also features 22 barbecue recipes collected just for this book.
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