Race and Reconciliation: Essays from the New South Africa

By Daniel Herwitz | Go to book overview

4
Racial and Nonracial States and Estates

The Persistence of Race in the New South Africa

Presenting a paper to the University of Natal History Seminar in April 2000, the South African sociologist Gerry Mare began in this way:

In 1985 acting president of the then-banned and exiled African National
Congress, Oliver Tambo, was asked, at a press conference, what was meant
by the liberation organisations commitment to “non-racialism” rather than
“multi-racialism.” His rambling answer was reproduced in the ANC journal
Mayibuye, in one of the extremely rare references to race or even to “non-
racialism” in that publication:

“There must be a difference. That is why we say non-racial. We could
have said multi-racial if we had wanted to. There is a difference. We
mean non-racial, rather than multi-racial. We mean non-racial [because
it implies the refusal of] … racism. Multi-racial does not address the
question of racism. Non-racial does. There will be no racism of any kind
therefore no discrimination that proceeds from the fact that people happen to be
members of different races
. That is what we understand by non-racial.”

Such a clearly unthought out answer comes as a surprise from the leader of
a movement which has prided itself on its commitment to non-racialism,
during the years of struggle against apartheid, and in the process of subse-

-104-

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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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