Tag Archives: Black Consciousness

Critical consciousness is the answer

There is, increasingly, a common message that is emerging about South Africa 21 years since the formal end of apartheid — things are getting bad. As argued elsewhere, this might not be surprising particularly if we look at the developmental experiences during the first two decades or so for many post-independent countries on our continent….

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Black consciousness and Nazism, really?

After two days following the postings generated by Thorne Godhino’s article, “With friends like these, does black consciousness need enemies?”, I feel I must now confess to an unfulfilled anticipation on my part that someone (why not me I am not sure) would make a particular intervention in this important conversation. Before I get to…

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With friends like these, does black consciousness need enemies?

Mcebo Dlamini is a complex man. He’s the former SRC president at Wits. He spent his days claiming to be a Sisulu grandchild, spinning tall tales of political grandeur and insight into a liberation family that he actually had no ties to. The story may have changed many times, details being replaced with more believable…

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‘Whites don’t care about blacks’

By Lucille Dawkshas I’m the only white teacher in an all-black township school. Teaching the philosophy of Steve Biko has been quite interesting, given the context. I can relate to Athambile Masola’s “atmosphere of exclusion” in her article “A Biko moment”, where “there are no words or signs declaring the exclusion”. I’ve had several “Biko…

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The private is political: Ramphele and the Biko affair

I tried to play devil’s advocate in a conversation where Mamphela Ramphele’s affair with Steve Biko came into question. I was stunned that in a group of black women Ramphele was not the hero or the role model of what it means to be an example of a woman to be reckoned with in the…

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Who is black and who is not?

There has not been a time in the history of racial identity in this country when the number of people who describe or define themselves in terms of their race or language group or tribe has been so low. Far too few people continue to see themselves as black (or white even) (8.8%) compared to…

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The black double agents among us

By Tshepo Mogotsi “You speak English so well, where did you go to school?” That could easily rank in the top five annoying questions asked to products of the “Model C” system. And when I answer “Hillview High” (a name that has never and will never feature in any Easter Rugby tournament) a dense cloud…

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Black to white migration: Why black South Africans are moving away from black

Sometimes I wish my skin were lighter, my nose more narrow, hair that would allow a pencil to fall freely when slid into it, with my forehead slopping back a bit, a pair of ocean blue eyes and cap it all off with the white man’s accent. At least that would make my shopping experience…

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Why the poor vote for the ANC and will do so for a long time

The question of why the poor who are always complaining about the ANC continue to vote for the organisation has always preoccupied my mind. I could never really comprehend how it is possible for multitudes of people who are being abused by the ruling party would vote it into power. I tried to rationalise it…

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White writers writing black characters – a form of literary blackface?

White South African writers who create black characters are often challenged about the authenticity of their writing. If their main protagonist is black, this challenge intensifies, and if they write in the first person, it intensifies further. There is something particularly intimate about first-person narrative. It gets under the skin of the character in a…

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