Bestowing A Human Face: A Black Consciousness Perspective

 
9780620650915: Bestowing A Human Face: A Black Consciousness Perspective

Insightful, revealing, informative and incisive yet tragic narratives from the pens of the silenced foot soldiers of Azapo who resolved to resist silencing by - in the spirit of Steve Biko - “Writing what they liked”. As a whole, this collection of historical narratives is an important first in the history of the Black Consciousness Movement and thus constitutes an important area in the history of the struggle for liberation in South Africa. This collection of personal narratives is an extremely important source of the history of the struggle against the brutality and invidious apartheid racism. What shines through in each narrative is that the struggle is profoundly a personal and collective adventure. A must-read which is an important contribution to South African political history. Professor Mabogo Percy More, author of “Biko: Africana Existentialist Philosopher” and “Black Consciousness Ontology: The Politics of Being” ............................................................................................................... The book is important in a number of ways. Firstly, it contains stories by the people who were in the thick of things during the political strife between political parties in Mpumalanga Township during the 80s. These are the stories told in their own words. They are not told through intermediaries as is mostly the case when Black stories are being told. Secondly, stories of our struggle relate in the main to experiences of one liberation movement, the African National Congress and its formations. This is only one perspective of the complex struggle for liberation. The experiences of the activists related in this book offer another. Last but not least, the stories reflect the complexities of the struggle for liberation in the country. It was not simply a case of blacks against whites. As the stories show, so many people died at the hands of their fellow blacks. On the surface, it looked like ‘black on black’ fighting. Scratching the surface a little reveals that this was a myth. The killers were merely serving the interests of their white masters and were doing the killing and maiming on their behalf. I believe that the book is an important resource in the understanding of the dynamics of the struggle for liberation. The perspectives of the Azapo/Black Consciousness activists enrich this understanding. It should be read by all who wish to sharpen their insight into the trials and tribulations experienced by the black communities in the townships during the 80s. Rare Msomi, Educationist and Managing Administrator: Further Education and Training ............................................................................................................... The writing of this book is indeed a great achievement and very timely. Given its rationale, one would say it is long overdue, however, it comes at an opportune time when the country is hurtling backwards and everyone is groping for answers to the behaviour of certain marginalised peoples towards other human beings. It is déjà vu! Having been closely involved with many of the Azapo comrades in Mpumalanga at the time, the stories evoke many memories but, at the same time, passes on invaluable lessons to the younger generation of the trials and tribulations of communities during the era of apartheid and the resilience of those who stood firmly behind the principles and values that they cherished. These are stories from the heart and soul of a people in a struggle within the struggle. The authors and, in particular, those who persisted in making this book a reality must be highly commended. Deena Soliar, National Director: Umtapo Centre ...............................................................................................................

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