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Africa

Between Nuremberg and Amnesia: The Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa

The conscious crafting of an honest history by a state commission is a rare enough event to justify our calling your attention to South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. But this writing of history is incomplete, in the same degree as the process of change in South Africa. Certain brute facts are ignored and avoided, and this avoidance was the condition of the bargain accepted by the ANC. As per South Africa’s Freedom Charter, now it can in some meaningful sense be said that “South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white.” But what belongs to whom is the question left unaddressed as the very condition of the transition negotiations, transferring its tension into all aspects of that transition, not least any permitted debate over present remedies for a history of injustice. | more…

Township Politics: Civic Struggles for a New South Africa

Township Politics: Civic Struggles for a New South Africa

This insider’s account of an extraordinary period of national political transition is also a primer on a new radical philosophy, the street–smart Marxism that developed in South Africa’s sprawling townships between 1985 and 1995 and rendered them ungovernable for the apartheid state. Mzwanele Mayekiso, a young leader of the “civics”—as South Africa’s popular community organizations are called—spent almost three years in prison as a result of the civics’ militant organizing. Here, he interlaces his personal story with caustic assessments of apartheid’s hand–picked township leaders, with rebuttals of armchair academics, and with impassioned but self–critical analyses of the civics’ struggles and tactics. He ends with a vision of an international urban social movement that, he argues, must be a crucial component of any emancipatory project. | more…

Return to the Source: Selected Speeches of Amilcar Cabralcar

Return to the Source: Selected Speeches of Amilcar Cabral

Amilcar Cabral, who was the Secretary–General of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and the Cape Verde Islands (PAIGC), was assassinated by Portuguese agents on January 20, 1973. Under his leadership, the PAIGC liberated three–quarters of the countryside of Guinea in less than ten years of revolutionary struggle. Cabral distinguished himself among modern revolutionaries by the long and careful preparation, both theoretical and practical, which he undertook before launching the revolutionary struggle, and, in the course of the preparation, became one of the world's outstanding theoreticians of anti–imperialist struggle. | more…

Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-colonization and Development with Particular Reference to the African Revolution

Consciencism: Philosophy and Ideology for De-colonization and Development with Particular Reference to the African Revolution

One of Africa’s most renowned philosophers and political leaders, Kwame Nkrumah was not only at the center of what he called “the African revolution,” but he also articulated its ideology. In this book he sets out his personal philosophy, which he terms “consciencism,” and which has provided the intellectual framework for his political action. | more…