Place of Thorns

Black Political Protest in Kroonstad since 1976
Author(s):
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Dimensions and Pages: 235 x 135 mm; 256 pp; Illustrated
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-86814-687-1
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-86814-907-0 (North and South America, China); 978-1-86814-908-7 (Rest of world)
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-86814-688-8
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 39.95

I was born and raised in Kroonstad, a Free State town known more for its famous sons and daughters such as Gabriel Setiloane, Pallo Jordan, Ivy Matsepe, Mosioua Lekota and Antjie Krog. This important book tells us about the other heroes and heroines of the town who didn’t find the limelight, but fought a hard struggle for dignity, justice and
freedom over generations. This lesser known part of my hometown’s history has cried out to be documented for a long time, and now it is done in an authoritative, engaging way.
— Max du Preez, South African author, columnist, documentary filmmaker and founding editor of Vrye Weekblad

Given that the most convulsive upheavals from the mid-1970s through the 1980s and 1990s took place in the main metropolitan areas, historians and social scientists have tended to ignore smaller towns. By examining Maokeng in Kroonstad, the author reveals that the pattern of urban black political protest and resistance in the latter half
of the twentieth century is considerably more layered than an earlier historiography has suggested.
— Hilary Sapire, University of London

Place of Thorns: Black Political Protest in Kroonstad since 1976, is a landmark study that examines the tumultuous and often fractious politics in Kroonstad’s black townships.
In spite of the town’s relative obscurity, the author demonstrates a rich tradition of civic and political life in its townships and provides a persuasive explanation for the violence unleashed in the 1990s after decades of relative political ‘quiescence’.
Based on scores of life history interviews, the book illustrates a shift in the political mood from 1976 onwards. Inspired by the philosophies of Black Consciousness and the Congress movement, students developed a radical attitude and they spearheaded and shaped political protests in the townships up to the 1990s. However, tensions between the local civic associations and the regional and national ANC leadership ultimately cost the ANC the first democratic local government elections in Kroonstad. As a work of revisionist history, this book showcases South Africa’s nuanced liberation history that unfolded in smaller, less known places.
The book is essential reading for scholars and students, and everyone interested in the South African liberation history, ‘local’ histories, political mobilisation and protests.

Introduction
Chapter 1. Protests before 1976
Chapter 2. ‘Kroonstad was now aware’: black consciousness and student demonstration 1972 – 1976
Chapter 3. The YCW, Labour protest and government reforms 1977 – 1984
Chapter 4. Student protest, Community mobilisation and the Town Council Politics 1985 – 1989
Chapter 5. The unbanning of the ANC, Political violence and Civic politics 1990 – 1995

Tshepo Moloi is a researcher in the History Workshop, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

I was born and raised in Kroonstad, a Free State town known more for its famous sons and daughters such as Gabriel Setiloane, Pallo Jordan, Ivy Matsepe, Mosioua Lekota and Antjie Krog. This important book tells us about the other heroes and heroines of the town who didn’t find the limelight, but fought a hard struggle for dignity, justice and freedom over generations. This lesser known part of my hometown’s history has cried out to be documented for a long time, and now it is done in an authoritative, engaging way.
— Max du Preez, South African author, columnist, documentary filmmaker and founding editor of Vrye Weekblad

Given that the most convulsive upheavals from the mid-1970s through the 1980s and 1990s took place in the main metropolitan areas, historians and social scientists have tended to ignore smaller towns. By examining Maokeng in Kroonstad, the author reveals that the pattern of urban black political protest and resistance in the latter half
of the twentieth century is considerably more layered than an earlier historiography has suggested.
— Hilary Sapire, University of London

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