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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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Acknowledgments xi Introduction 1 Chapter 1. Whiteness and the Hegemony of Apartheid in the Quest for Educational Equality 9 Chapter 2. Making the Invisible Visible: Post-Apartheid Schools in South Africa 27 Chapter 3. Liphi Igumbi Langasese (Where Is the Toilet?): Documenting Racial Disparities in Schools 57 Chapter 4. Systemic Disparities, Differential Realities: School Principals on South African Education 77 Chapter 5. Can Umlungu (a White Person) Save Us?: Outside-In Education in the New South Africa 121 Chapter 6. A Colorless Rainbow: Nonracialism in the New South Africa 165 Chapter 7. The New South Africa: Building Blocks for Sustainable Transformation 187 x whiteness is the new south africa Appendix A. Researching Racism in South African Schools: A Clarification of Methods 203 Appendix B. Statement of Nelson Mandela at His Inauguration as President of the Republic of South Africa, 10 May 1994, Pretoria 213 Appendix C. Excerpts from the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 217 Bibliography 237 About the Authors 257

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