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Whiteness Is the New South Africa

Qualitative Research on Post-Apartheid Racism

Series:

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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Chapter 7: The New South Africa: Building Blocks for Sustainable Transformation

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· 7 · the new south africa Building Blocks for Sustainable Transformation One day, history will have its say. It will not tell a story of reconciliation and a born- free generation. It will not tell a story of democracy and equality. History will tell the story of families like mine who struggled and continue to struggle, and of many Malaika Wa Azanias: young people born at the dawn of a democratic dispensation who were filled with optimism about a Rainbow Nation that never was. It will tell the story of young black children whose humanity is destroyed by the brutality of life in the township, a modern-day concentration camp where poor black people find little comfort is afforded to them by a system that sucks the hope out of their very hearts. —Wa Azania (2014, pp. 169–170) South Africa has an impressively complicated past and present. The dramatic educational disparities documented in this book reflect a larger context of what Wa Azania refers to as “a modern-day concentration camp.” Indeed, as poverty, health pandemics, housing and food crises, and every basic indicator of well-being for Black South Africans indicate ongoing social crisis, every day, Black youths (especially those in the townships) try to make sense of the world they inhabit. South Africans born after 1994, the “Born Free” gener- ation, have grown up without the explicit legal structures of apartheid. Yet, the civilization ethos of race-based oppression pervades the nonracialism of the nation. In 2012, the first class of Born...

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