Race and Reconciliation: Essays from the New South Africa

By Daniel Herwitz | Go to book overview

1
The Coat of Many Colors: Truth and Reconciliation

The Bible

Joseph, seventeen years old, was a shepherd, along with his brothers. Israel, their father, loved Joseph more than his other sons, for he was his father's late lamb, the son of his old age. One day, Israel had a special coat, sewn of long sleeves and dazzling colors, made for him. Joseph's brothers, knowing that their father loved Joseph best, hated him so much that they could not utter a civil word to him. One day Joseph's brothers went to pasture their father's flock at Shechem. Israel told Joseph to go and see how his brothers and the flock were doing, and to bring him word of it. Later a man found Joseph wandering the countryside and asked him, “What are you looking for?” “I am looking for my brothers,” was his reply

The rest of the story is well known. Joseph's brothers conspired to kill him, only to have Ruben, the best of the lot, intercede, saying that Joseph should be spared but put into a well. It was done. Spying a group of Ishmaelites laden with goods, the brothers thought to themselves, “Why kill him? He is, after all, our brother. Instead, let us sell him into slavery and make profit from it.” While the discussions went on, another group of traders, the Midianites, saw Joseph, drew him up from the well, and sold him to the Ishmaelites. Horrified to find Joseph gone from the well,

-1-

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Race and Reconciliation: Essays from the New South Africa
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction xi
  • 1: The Coat of Many Colors: Truth and Reconciliation 1
  • 2: Soweto's Taxi, America's Rib 47
  • 3: Afro-Medici: Thabo Mbeki's African Renaissance 69
  • 4: Racial and Nonracial States and Estates 104
  • 5: The Genealogy of Modern South African Architecture 128
  • 6: Postmodernists of the South 173
  • 7: Ongoing Struggle at the End of History 196
  • Notes 211
  • Index 217
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