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Whiteness Is the New South Africa

Qualitative Research on Post-Apartheid Racism


Christopher B. Knaus and M. Christopher Brown II

In 1994, the world joined South Africa in celebration of the results of its first democratic election. The results, emblazoned on the world’s memory with President Nelson Mandela waving to a multiracial crowd, signified the end of apartheid and an emerging new era of hope. However, Mandela’s recent death has given birth to a more critical view of his «Rainbow Nation.» No matter how examined, education in South Africa remains steadfastly unequal, with many White children retaining the educational privileges inherent to apartheid. White children in South Africa overwhelmingly attend wealthy, fully resourced schools, while the vast majority of Black and Coloured children attend woefully underresourced schools.
Based upon three sets of studies in schools in and around Cape Town, Whiteness Is the New South Africa highlights drastic racial disparities, suggesting that educational apartheid continues unabated, potentially fostering future generations of impoverished Black and Coloured communities. This book suggests that South Africa remains committed to stifling the intellectual, emotional, and economic development of Black and Coloured youth, while simultaneously investing in White children.


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) ISBN 978-1-4331-2723-6 (paperback) ISBN 978-1-4539-1738-1 (e-book) ISSN 1947-5993 Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek. Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available on the Internet at Cover image © Luzzatti Buyé © 2016 Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., New York 29 Broadway, 18th floor, New York, NY 10006 All rights reserved. Reprint or reproduction, even partially, in all forms such as microfilm, xerography, microfiche, microcard, and offset strictly prohibited. To the late Kipchoge Kirkland, who was supposed to conduct this research with me; and to the Born Free generation, trying to make your way through way too much racism. —cbk To my father, brother, friend, and provost, Dr. Samuel L. White, who ended his academic career making certain I was successful and whole; and to all the academic and community advocates who use their minds and bodies to resist racism in the fight to create schools strong enough to repair broken societies. —mcb2 The worst disease under which the society … suffers, is, in my opinion, [rac- ism]. Everyone who is not used from childhood to this injustice suffers from the mere observation. … He cannot understand how men can feel superior to fellow-men who differ in only one point from the rest: They descend from ancestors who, as a protection against the destructive action of the radiation of the tropical sun, gained a more strongly pigmented skin than those whose ancestors lived in countries farther from the equator. One can hardly believe...

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