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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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About the Authors


Christopher B. Knaus currently serves as professor of education at the Uni- versity of Washington Tacoma. Dr. Knaus engages in practitioner-based research and hands-on projects that examine the global impact of colonial school systems and related policies on communities of color. Recognized as a race scholar, critical race theory practitioner, educator, and community advo- cate dedicated to the overthrow of the standardization of schools, cultures, and public space, Dr. Knaus authored the celebrated school-based book project Shut Up and Listen: Teaching Writing That Counts in Urban Schools. Dr. Knaus conducts workshops, trainings, and research around educational leadership development, teacher education, and student-centered approaches to trans- forming schools. Dr. Knaus additionally works to foster urban educational leadership path- ways, developing teacher-of-color preparation and support programs in part- nership with community-based organizations. At the core of community and systems transformation, Dr. Knaus centers critically conscious urban youth voice as a way to help educators create inclusive, challenging class- rooms and schools that arm children to transform the world in which they live now into a world where addressing social inequities becomes the pur- pose of education. Dr. Knaus was a Fulbright scholar to South Africa and 258 whiteness is the new south africa visiting professor at the University of the Western Cape, and he maintains active research studies examining post-apartheid educational policy and practice. Dr. Knaus, the founding director of the Doctorate in Educational Leadership Program (Ed.D.) at the University of Washington Tacoma, previously served as professor of educational leadership at California...

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