By Robert Fatton Jr
Black awareness in South Africa presents a brand new standpoint on black politics in South Africa. It demonstrates and assesses seriously the unconventional personality and aspirations of African resistance to white minority rule.
Robert Fatton analyzes the improvement and radicalization of South Africa's Black realization stream from its inception within the past due Sixties to its banning in 1977. He rejects the commonly approved interpretation of the Black cognizance move as an solely cultural and racial expression of African resistance to racism. as a substitute Fatton argues that over the process its lifestyles, the flow built a progressive ideology in a position to tough the cultural and political hegemony of apartheid. The Black recognition move got here to be a synthesis of sophistication know-how and black cultural assertiveness. It represented the ethico-political weapon of an oppressed category suffering to reaffirm its humanity via energetic participation within the dying of a racist and capitalist process.
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Additional info for Black consciousness in South Africa: the dialectics of ideological resistance to white supremacy
Africanism embodied then the total rejection of European leadership and black inferiority. It was the ideological expression of the birth of African self-assertion and defiance. The development of an assertive African nationalism constituted, therefore, the central aim of the Africanists. To assure such development, Africanists proposed a policy of independence, in which Africans had to regroup as Africans and reject cooperation with representatives of other races. Such attitudes indicated not racism, but rather a desire to root out any sense of African inferiority through the creation of a higher degree of cohesion and self-confidence.
However, it failed to repeal the unjust laws and "at no time did [it] shakethough it did angerthe government ... 48 So, while the Defiance Campaign boosted the Africans' morale and confidence, it failed to eradicate the unjust laws and offered new opportunities for greater repression to an already tyrannical government. The Campaign and subsequent trend toward passive resistance during the 1950's exposed the inadequacies and even futility of non-violent and open methods of resistance in conditions of overwhelming police hostility.
This opposition does not mean, however, that the two positions were totally irreconcilable. Indeed, most Africanists were prepared to envisage some form of socialism, but this vision paled before the primacy of an assertive nationalism. In the words of Lembede: "The achievement of national liberation will ... usher in a new era, the era of African socialism. "14 Page 7 This belief in the primacy of nationalism over socialism also animated the multiracialists of the ANC. Such a belief was not merely the reflection of simple ideological preferences; it was also a symptom of deeper structural realities.
Black consciousness in South Africa: the dialectics of ideological resistance to white supremacy by Robert Fatton Jr