Apartheid and racism in South African children's literature, 1985-1995 /
Donnarae MacCann and Yulisa Amadu Maddy.
New York : Routledge, 2001.
xviii, 154 p.
0415936381 (alk. paper)
More Details
New York : Routledge, 2001.
0415936381 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2002-06-01:
Also authors of African Images in Juvenile Literature: Commentaries on Neocolonialist Fiction (1996), MacCann and Maddy outline the white-supremacist mythology pervading South African literature for the young by offering brief readings that reveal how novels foster the beliefs that maintained apartheid. They argue that white novelists demean blacks through characterization and by omission or misrepresentation of oppressive social institutions. For example, novelists portray black adults as incompetent, simpleminded, or corrupt. Their most admirable black characters accept white policies, which are seen as benign. MacCann and Maddy also condemn reviewers of children's books who praise the literary qualities of novels that foster the misrepresentations used to justify racial oppression. Although in need of better proofreading (Dennis Bailey's Khetho is incorrectly given as Kletho) and better biographical information (as an immigrant who arrived when she was 17, Lesley Beake cannot have been molded by the same forces that shaped the opinions of other authors) and lacking comparisons of these English-language children's books with those written in Afrikaans, this study is compelling. The authors' polemical analyses warn that books shape young minds, so those who care about social justice must evaluate both what novels say and what they omit. All collections. R. E. Jones University of Alberta
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Choice, June 2002
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Bowker Data Service Summary
MacCann and Maddy demonstrate that children's literature around the time of Nelson Mandela's release derived from the same intellectual, educational, religious, political, and economic milieux that brought white supremacy to South Africa.
Main Description
While white racism has global dimensions, it has an unshakeable lease on life in South African political organizations and its educational system. Donnarae MacCann and Yulisa Maddy here provide a thorough and provocative analysis of South African children's literature during the key decade around Nelson Mandela's release from prison. Their research demonstrates that the literature of this period was derived from the same milieu -- intellectual, educational, religious, political, and economic -- that brought white supremacy to South Africa during colonial times. This volume is a signal contribution to the study of children's literature and its relation to racism and social conditions.
Table of Contents
A Note about Terminologyp. ix
Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Backgroundp. 1
Elements of Apartheid: "Science," Theology, Government, and Extra-Constitutional Government (The Broederbond)p. 3
"Gatekeepers" and Literary Educationp. 15
Novels about Contemporary South Africap. 23
Civil Disobedience and Urban Conflict: The Apartheid Perspectivep. 25
Runaways, Forced Removals, Population Controlp. 41
The First Democratic Election: Right-Wing Fears in Post-Election Fictionp. 57
Interracial Friendships: Sacrificial Blacks, "Reformed" Whitesp. 69
Interracial Romance: "Scientific" Racism Persistsp. 81
Stories of the Supernatural: Misreading African Traditionp. 89
Historical Novelsp. 99
The Trekking Boers: Land-Grabbing in Historical Literaturep. 101
Tales of Conquest and Religious Conversionp. 109
Conclusion: "Is This Going to Be a Democratic Society or Not?"p. 117
Epilogue: The Anti-Apartheid Voices of Karen Press and Beverley Naidoop. 127
Selected Bibliographyp. 135
Indexp. 143
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