Africa | Sahara Desert
South Indian Ocean Islands
The Idea of the ANC
By Anthony Butler
The African National Congress (ANC) is Africa’s most famous liberation movement. It has recently celebrated its centenary, a milestone that has prompted partisans to detail a century of unparalleled achievement in the struggle against colonialism and racial discrimination. Critics paint a less flattering portrait of the historical ANC as a communist puppet, a moribund dinosaur, or an elitist political parasite.
By K. Sello Duiker
· Introduction by Shaun Viljoen
debut fiction; South African literature; street kids; child prostitution; homosexuality; Cape Town; drug use; gritty novel; dark themes; African Literature; bildungsroman;
The ANC Youth League
By Clive Glaser
This brilliant little book tells the story of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League from its origins in the 1940s to the present and the controversies over Julius Malema and his influence in contemporary youth politics. Glaser analyzes the ideology and tactics of its founders, some of whom (notably Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo) later became iconic figures in South African history as well as inspirational figures such as A. P. Mda (father of author Zakes Mda) and Anton Lembede.
Govan Mbeki (1910–2001) was a core leader of the African National Congress, the Communist Party, and the armed wing of the ANC during the struggle against apartheid. Known as a hard-liner, Mbeki was a prolific writer and combined in a rare way the attributes of intellectual and activist, political theorist and practitioner.
Poet under Apartheid
By Louise Viljoen
Nelson Mandela brought the poetry of Ingrid Jonker to the attention of South Africa and the wider world when he read her poem “Die kind” (The Child) at the opening of South Africa’s first democratic parliament on May 24, 1994. Though Jonker was already a significant figure in South African literary circles, Mandela’s reference contributed to a revival of interest in Jonker and her work that continues to this day.Viljoen’s
San Rock Art
By J.D. Lewis-Williams
San rock paintings, scattered over the range of southern Africa, are considered by many to be the very earliest examples of representational art. There are as many as 15,000 known rock art sites, created over the course of thousands of years up until the nineteenth century. There are possibly just as many still awaiting discovery.Taking
The Story of South Africa’s Five Most Lethal Human Diseases
By Howard Phillips
This is the first history of epidemics in South Africa, lethal episodes that shaped this society over three centuries. Focusing on five devastating diseases between 1713 and today—smallpox, bubonic plague, “Spanish influenza,” polio, and HIV/AIDS—the book probes their origins, their catastrophic courses, and their consequences.
South Africa’s Struggle for Human Rights
By Saul Dubow
The human rights movement in South Africa’s transition to a postapartheid democracy has been widely celebrated as a triumph for global human rights. It was a key aspect of the political transition, often referred to as a miracle, which brought majority rule and democracy to South Africa. The country’s new constitution, its Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the moral authority of Nelson Mandela stand as exemplary proof of this achievement.
Spear of the Nation: Umkhonto weSizwe
South Africa’s Liberation Army, 1960s–1990s
By Janet Cherry
Umkhonto weSizwe, Spear of the Nation, was arguably the last of the great liberation armies of the twentieth century—but it never got to “march triumphant into Pretoria.” MK—as it was known—was the armed wing of the African National Congress, South Africa’s liberation movement, that challenged the South African apartheid government.
Steve Biko inspired a generation of black South Africans to claim their true identity and refuse to be a part of their own oppression. Through his example, he demonstrated fearlessness and self-esteem, and he led a black student movement countrywide that challenged and thwarted the culture of fear perpetuated by the apartheid regime. He paid the highest price with his life. The brutal circumstances of his death shocked the world and helped isolate his oppressors.This
Paper Sons and Daughters
Growing up Chinese in South Africa
By Ufrieda Ho
Ufrieda Ho’s compelling memoir describes with intimate detail what it was like to come of age in the marginalized Chinese community of Johannesburg during the apartheid era of the 1970s and 1980s. The Chinese were mostly ignored, as Ho describes it, relegated to certain neighborhoods and certain jobs, living in a kind of gray zone between the blacks and the whites. As long as they adhered to these rules, they were left alone.
The Anatomy of a South African Genocide
The Extermination of the Cape San Peoples
By Mohamed Adhikari
In 1998 David Kruiper, the leader of the ‡Khomani San who today live in the Kalahari Desert in South Africa, lamented, “We have been made into nothing.” His comment applies equally to the fate of all the hunter-gatherer societies of the Cape Colony who were destroyed by the impact of European colonialism. Until relatively recently, the extermination of the Cape San peoples has been treated as little more than a footnote to South African narratives of colonial conquest.During
Bafana Kuzwayo is a young man with a weight on his shoulders. After flunking his law studies at the University of Cape Town, he returns home to Soweto, where he must decide how to break the news to his family. But before he can confess, he is greeted as a hero by family and friends. His uncle calls him “Advo,” short for Advocate, and his mother wastes no time recruiting him to solve their legal problems.
The Law and the Prophets
Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977
By Daniel Magaziner
“No nation can win a battle without faith,” Steve Biko wrote, and as Daniel R. Magaziner demonstrates in The Law and the Prophets, the combination of ideological and theological exploration proved a potent force.The 1970s are a decade virtually lost to South African historiography. This span of years bridged the banning and exile of the country’s best-known antiapartheid leaders in the early 1960s and the furious protests that erupted after the Soweto uprisings of June 16, 1976.
Land, Memory, Reconstruction, and Justice
Perspectives on Land Claims in South Africa
By Cherryl Walker, Anna Bohlin, Ruth Hall, and Thembela Kepe
Land is a significant and controversial topic in South Africa. Addressing the land claims of those dispossessed in the past has proved to be a demanding, multidimensional process. In many respects the land restitution program that was launched as part of the county’s transition to democracy in 1994 has failed to meet expectations, with ordinary citizens, policymakers, and analysts questioning not only its progress but also its outcomes and parameters.Land,
The Uncoiling Python
South African Storytellers and Resistance
By Harold Scheub
There are many collections of African oral traditions, but few as carefully organized as The Uncoiling Python. Harold Scheub, one of the world’s leading scholars of African oral traditions and folklore, explores the ways in which oral traditions have served to combat and subvert colonial domination in South Africa.
Land, Power, and Custom
Controversies Generated by South Africa’s Communal Land Rights Act
Edited by Aninka Claassens and Ben Cousins
Land tenure rights are a burning issue in South Africa, as in Africa more widely. Land, Power, and Custom explores the implications of the controversial 2004 Communal Land Rights Act, criticized for reinforcing the apartheid power structure and ignoring the interests of the common people.
George Stow’s History Painting of the San
By Pippa Skotnes
George Stow was a Victorian man of many parts—poet, historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, and prolific writer. A geologist by profession, he became acquainted, through his work in the field, with the extraordinary wealth of rock paintings in the caves and shelters of the South African interior. Enchanted and absorbed by them, Stow set out to create a record of this creative work of the people who had tracked and marked the South African landscape decades and centuries before him.Un
African Medicine, Cultural Exchange, and Competition in South Africa, 1820–1948
By Karen E. Flint
Healing Traditions offers a historical perspective to the interactions between South Africa’s traditional healers and biomedical practitioners. It provides an understanding that is vital for the development of medical strategies to effectively deal with South Africa’s healthcare challenges.
Land Claims and Land Restitution in South Africa
By Cherryl Walker
The year 2008 is the deadline set by President Mbeki for the finalization of all land claims by people who were dispossessed under the apartheid and previous white governments. Although most experts agree this is an impossible deadline, it does provide a significant political moment for reflection on the ANC government’s program of land restitution since the end of apartheid.Land
Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa
By Wayne Dooling
Slavery, Emancipation and Colonial Rule in South Africa examines the rural Cape Colony from the earliest days of Dutch colonial rule in the mid-seventeenth century to the outbreak of the South African War in 1899.For slaves and slave owners alike, incorporation into the British Empire at the beginning of the nineteenth century brought fruits that were bittersweet.
Chester Crocker & American Policy in South Africa, Namibia & Angola, 1981–1988
By J. E. Davies
The notion of engagement represents an indispensable tool in a foreign policy practitioner’s armory. The idea of constructive engagement is forwarded by governments as a method whereby pressure can be brought to bear on countries to improve their record on human rights, while diplomatic and economic contracts can be maintained. But does this approach succeed?
Claim to the Country
The Archive of Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd
By Pippa Skotnes
In the 1870s, facing cultural extinction and the death of their language, several San men and women told their stories to two pioneering colonial scholars in Cape Town, Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd. The narratives of these San—or Bushmen—were of the land, the rain, the history of the first people, and the origin of the moon and stars.
Sorcery and Sovereignty
Taxation, Power, and Rebellion in South Africa, 1880–1963
By Sean Redding
Rebellions broke out in many areas of South Africa shortly after the institution of white rule in the late nineteenth century and continued into the next century. However, distrust of the colonial regime reached a new peak in the mid-twentieth century, when revolts erupted across a wide area of rural South Africa. All these uprisings were rooted in grievances over taxes.
Natures of Colonial Change
Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei
By Jacob A. Tropp
In this groundbreaking study, Jacob A. Tropp explores the interconnections between negotiations over the environment and an emerging colonial relationship in a particular South African context—the Transkei—subsequently the largest of the notorious “homelands” under apartheid.In the late nineteenth century, South Africa’s Cape Colony completed its incorporation of the area beyond the Kei River, known as the Transkei, and began transforming the region into a labor reserve.
Studies in Black South African Literary History
By David Attwell
Rewriting Modernity: Studies in Black South African Literary History connects the black literary archive in South Africa to international postcolonial studies via the theory of transculturation, a position adapted from the Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz.
J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual
Edited by Jane Poyner
J. M. Coetzee and the Idea of the Public Intellectual addresses the contribution Coetzee has made to contemporary literature, not least for the contentious forays his work makes into South African political discourse and the field of postcolonial studies.
A Burning Hunger
One Family’s Struggle Against Apartheid
By Lynda Schuster
A Burning Hunger shows the human catastrophe that plagued generations of black Africans in the powerful story of one religious and law-abiding Soweto family. Basing her narrative on extensive research and interviews, Lynda Schuster richly portrays this remarkable family and in so doing reveals black South Africa during a time of momentous change.
The Forgotten Frontier
Colonist and Khoisan on the Cape’s Northern Frontier in the 18th Century
By Nigel Penn
Traditionally, the Eastern Cape frontier of South Africa has been regarded as the preeminent contact zone between colonists and the Khoi—“Hottentots”—and San—“Bushmen.” But there was an earlier frontier in which the conflict between Dutch colonists and these indigenous herders and hunters was in many ways more decisive in its outcome, more brutal and violent in its manner, and just as significant in its effects on later South African history.This
Not White Enough, Not Black Enough
Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community
By Mohamed Adhikari
The concept of Colouredness—being neither white nor black—has been pivotal to the brand of racial thinking particular to South African society. The nature of Coloured identity and its heritage of oppression has always been a matter of intense political and ideological contestation.Not White Enough, Not Black Enough: Racial Identity in the South African Coloured Community is the first systematic study of Coloured identity, its history, and its relevance to South African national life.
We Are Fighting the World
A History of the Marashea Gangs in South Africa, 1947–1999
By Gary Kynoch
Since the late 1940s, a violent African criminal society known as the Marashea has operated in and around South Africa’s gold mining areas. With thousands of members involved in drug smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping, the Marashea was more influential in the day-to-day lives of many black South Africans under apartheid than were agents of the state. These gangs remain active in South Africa.In
Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid
By Belinda Bozzoli
A compelling study of the origins and trajectory of one of the legendary black uprisings against apartheid, Theatres of Struggle and the End of Apartheid draws on insights gained from the literature on collective action and social movements. It delves into the Alexandra Rebellion of 1986 to reveal its inner workings.Belinda
The International Dimension of South Africa’s Political Revolution
By James Barber
The demise of apartheid, the release of Nelson Mandela, and a new constitution leading to a democratic government elevated South Africa’s status during the 1990s. Mandela’s World describes and analyzes South Africa’s international development during this momentous decade in which Nelson Mandela stamped his personality on his nation and on the international stage.Despite
Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy
By Glen S. Elder
In the last decade, the South African state has been transformed dramatically, but the stubborn, menacing geography of apartheid still stands in the way of that country’s visions of change. Environmentally degraded old homelands still scar the rural geography of South Africa.Formerly segregated, now gated, neighborhoods still inhibit free movement. Hostels, Sexuality, and the Apartheid Legacy is a study of another such space, the converted “male” migrant worker hostel.Professor
Writing a Wider War
Rethinking Gender, Race, and Identity in the South African War, 1899–1902
Edited by Greg Cuthbertson, Albert Grundlingh, and Mary-Lynn Suttie
A century after the South African War (1899-1902), historians are beginning to reevaluate the accepted wisdom regarding the scope of the war, its participants, and its impact. Writing a Wider War charts some of the changing historical constructions of the memorialization of suffering during the war.Writing a Wider War presents a dramatically new interpretation of the role of Boer women in the conflict and profoundly changes how we look at the making of Afrikaner nationalism.
After the TRC
Reflections on Truth and Reconciliation
Edited by Wilmot James and Linda van de Vijver
Has South Africa dealt effectively with the past, and is the country ready to face the future? What are the challenges facing both government and civil society in the years ahead? These and other questions are explored in this collection of essays by international and local commentators on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.A range of perspectives on whether the TRC met its objectives of truth and reconciliation is presented.
Workers, War and the Origins of Apartheid
Labour and Politics in South Africa, 1939-48
By Peter Alexander
This book provides a significant revision of South African labor history and makes an important contribution to the debate about apartheid’s genesis. Using a range of untapped sources, it shows that there was far more strike action during World War II than has been officially acknowledged. A new working class, sometimes organized into multiracial unions, won improved wages and softened racial prejudice among white workers.Contradicting
The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, a Twentieth-Century South African Prophet
By Robert R. Edgar and Hilary Sapire
The devastating influenza epidemic of 1918 ripped through southern Africa. In its aftermath, revivalist and millenarian movements sprouted. Prophets appeared bearing messages of resistance, redemption, and renewal. African Apocalypse: The Story of Nontetha Nkwenkwe, A Twentieth-Century Prophet is the remarkable story of one such prophet, a middle-aged Xhosa woman named Nontetha.
Black Lawyers, White Courts
The Soul of South African Law
By Kenneth S. Broun
· Foreword by Julius L. Chambers
In the struggle against apartheid, one often overlooked group of crusaders was the coterie of black lawyers who overcame the Byzantine system that the government established oftentimes explicitly to block the paths of its black citizens from achieving justice.Now, in their own voices, we have the narratives of many of those lawyers as recounted in a series of oral interviews. Black Lawyers, White Courts is their story and the anti-apartheid story that has before now gone untold.Profess
Facing the Truth
South African Faith Communities and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Edited by James Cochrane, John de Gruchy, and Stephen Martin
The unique desire of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to turn its back on revenge and to create a space where deeper processes of “forgiveness, confession, repentance, reparation, and reconciliation can take place” reflects the spirit of some churches and faith communities in South Africa.
South Africa in Southern Africa
Reconfiguring the Region
Edited by David Simon
South Africa’s release of Nelson Mandela from prison in February 1990 and the subsequent independence of nearby Namibia heralded other dramatic political and economic changes in southern Africa that have transformed the region from a global flashpoint to one in which peaceful cooperation and development may become the norm.However, the substantial literature on changes in southern Africa has focused on individual nations, areas, or communities.
The Denver African Expedition of 1925
By Robert J. Gordon
The Denver African Expedition of 1925 sought “the cradle of Humanity.” The explorers returned claiming to have found the “Missing Link” in the Heikum bushmen of the Kalahari—and they proceeded to market this image. As Robert J. Gordon shows in Picturing Bushmen, the impact of the expedition lay not simply in its slick merchandising of bushmen images but also in the fact that the pictures were exotic and aesthetically pleasing.
The Ghost of Equality
The Public Lives of D. D. T. Jabavu of South Africa, 1885–1959
By Catherine Higgs
Davidson Don Tengo Jabavu was born in the Cape Colony in British southern Africa on October 20, 1885, when a few African men could vote and the prospects for black equality with the ruling whites seemed promising. He died on August 3, 1959, in the Cape Province of the Union of South Africa, eleven years after the apartheid state had begun stripping blacks of their rights and exorcising the ‘ghost of equality’ with a completeness unparalleled in the country’s history.
Colonization, Violence, and Narration in White South African Writing
André Brink, Breyten Breytenbach, and J. M. Coetzee
By Rosemary Jane Jolly
The representation of pain and suffering in narrative form is an ongoing ethical issue in contemporary South African literature. Can violence be represented without sensationalistic effects, or, alternatively, without effects that tend to be conservative because they place the reader in a position of superiority over the victim or the perpetrator?Jolly
The Decolonization of Africa
By David Birmingham
This bold, popularizing synthesis presents a readily accessible introduction to one of the major themes of twentieth-century world history. Between 1922, when self-government was restored to Egypt, and 1994, when nonracial democracy was achieved in South Africa, 54 new nations were established in Africa.