The Colour of Our Future

Does race matter in post-apartheid South Africa?
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  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Dimensions and Pages: 215 x 130mm; 256pp
  • Paperback EAN: 978-1-86814-569-0
  • eBook EAN: 978-1-86814-910-0 (North and South America, China); 978-1-86814-911-7 (Rest of world)
  • PDF EAN: 978-1-86814-623-9
  • Rights: World
  • Recommended Price (ZAR): 320.00
  • Recommended Price (USD): 34.95

The Colour of Our Future is a timely book. The individual chapters clearly show that questions of race have not withered away with the installation of a progressive constitution intended to create a nonracial society. That there might be good reason for understanding and accepting racial identities that are not only imposed or accepted for the purpose of resistance, but can, properly understood, be part of a positive future, is to be welcomed.
Paul Graham, former executive director of IDASA

The Colour of Our Future makes a bold and ambitious contribution to the discourse on race. It addresses the tension between the promise of a post-racial society and the persistence of racialised identities in South Africa, which has historically played itself out in debates between the ‘I don’t see race’ of non-racialism and the ‘I’m proud to be black’ of black consciousness. What the chapters in this volume highlight is the need for a race-transcendent vision that moves beyond ‘the festival of negatives’ embodied in concepts such as non-racialism, non-sexism, anti-colonialism and anti-apartheid. Steve Biko’s notion of a ‘joint culture’ is the scaffold on which this vision rests; it recognises that a race-transcendent society can only be built by acknowledging the constituent elements of South Africa’s EuroAfricanAsian heritage.
The distinguished authors in this volume have, over the past two decades, used the democratic space to insert into the public domain new conversations around the intersections of race and the economy, race and the state, race and the environment, race and ethnic difference, and race and higher education. Presented here is some of their most trenchant and yet still evolving thinking.
South Africa is ready for a new vocabulary of national consciousness that simultaneously recognises racialised identities while affirming that as human beings we are much more than our racial, sexual, class, religious or national identities.

Foreword by David Scott
Acknowledgements and Preface
1 What moving beyond race can actually mean: Towards a joint culture Xolela Mangcu
2 The colour of our past and present: The evolution of human skin pigmentation Nina G. Jablonski
3 Races, racialised groups and racial identity: Perspectives from South Africa and the United States Larry Blum
4 The Janus face of the past: Preserving and resisting South African path dependence Steven Friedman
5 How black is the future of green in South Africa’s urban future? Mark Swilling
6 Inequality in democratic South Africa Vusi Gumede
7 Interrogating the concept and dynamics of race in public policy Joel Netshitenzhe
8 Why I am no longer a non-racialist: Identity, and difference Suren Pillay
9 Interrogating transformation in South African higher education Crain Soudien
10 The black interpreters and the arch of history Hlonipha Mokoena
Acronyms and abbreviations
Index

Xolela Mangcu is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. He is the editor of Becoming Worthy Ancestors: Archive, Public Deliberation and Identity in South Africa (Wits University Press: 2011).

The Colour of Our Future is a timely book. The individual chapters clearly show that questions of race have not withered away with the installation of a progressive constitution intended to create a nonracial society. That there might be good reason for understanding and accepting racial identities that are not only imposed or accepted for the purpose of resistance, but can, properly understood, be part of a positive future, is to be welcomed.
Paul Graham, former executive director of IDASA

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