International Perspectives on Multicultural Education

Samuel Fenyane and Warren Chalklen share their insights into multicultural education globally.

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From roots to leaves: Future leadership in South Africa

Beautiful-Tree-Photography-10South African freedom fighters in the period between 1600 to the present focused on total liberation and self-determination in the face of relentless colonial oppression. Their efforts began not only a philosophical foundation of leadership for equity in South Africa, but set the stage for future generations of leaders. This piece traces South African leadership for equity philosophy from 1658 to the present. Continue reading

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April 2015 in South Africa

LionChapter 1: Azania House

It came down on the 9th of April 2015. A wrought, red iron crane wrapped around its arrogant body and lifted it from its mantelpiece. The singing crowd elevated as phones were lifted to capture the moment, blurred by the shoulders of fellow students. Amateur footage, real. A plastic bottle flies over the crowd and hits the dislodged statue with force, ricocheting into the distance as a group climb the fence, board the truck, and further deface it’s smugness with paint as it is driven away. Paint is better than faeces I thought. On second reflection, throwing faeces provokes talking and feeling. Today, shit palpably shifted the dominance of my history. Continue reading

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White privilege and the road to building a united South Africa

Credit: Sputnik 58

“Each of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld – a rainbow nation at peace with itself and the world” (Mandela, 1996)

“You [South Africans] are the Rainbow People of G-d.” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 1991)

When Archbishop Desmond Tutu used the term rainbow to describe the project of building a unified South Africa, he began a discourse about the nature of racial reconciliation in the country. Given this grand vision of racial harmony, many ask how we achieve its realization. Some contend that what threads us together is a feeling of exclusion, that “regardless of who we are, we all feel outside the box of South Africanness.” (Mashile, 2013). They argue that the project of building a non-racist, a non-sexist and an inclusive society in the form of a ‘rainbow nation’ is only a pipe dream or a failed experiment. These notions are reinforced given massive inequalities along racial lines that stubbornly persist on a daily basis. Continue reading

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A Vision for South Africa

What kind of country can we live in?

Bringing us together in the spirit of Ubuntu this track,  A Vision for South  Africa collaborates with Vice V to encapsulate the power of our great nation. The future we can all have.

Extract:

“I cannot dedicate my life to the acquisition of power,

Only to the pursuit of building a South Africa where children are educated, healthy and safe…Where every person has a life they have reason to value…We as South Africans are proud, confident and a visionary nation…Amandla!

Enjoy!

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White South African Privilege: Between Shame and Responsibility

Not my picture. Image rights the property of www.indexoncensorship.org

Not my picture. Image rights the property of http://www.indexoncensorship.org

A few weeks ago, I responded to the incident of blackface by two white female students at University of Pretoria by writing an article highlighting how this incident exemplifies a phenomenon called white privilege. Reflecting, I noticed a huge hole in the piece that demonstrates the irony of writing about privilege– that you often speak from privilege when talking about privilege. Littered throughout the article was the separation of white South Africans, including these white women from myself. It is as though I would rather talk about them, those other white people who perpetuate oppression. By pointing to them, I could feel good in my blanket of privilege and roll over with the feeling that somehow, I am exceptional; exceptional because they cannot see their own privilege while I can. Digging deeper into this, it became apparent that I was walking a continual line between shame and responsibility– shame at receiving the unearned privileges my skin and gender bestow upon me, responsibility as an advantaged person to participate in the dismantling of privilege systems. Continue reading

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Blackface, white privilege in post-apartheid South Africa

If I am because you are, and we reflect each other’s true humanity, then we are obligated to protect one another’s dignity. When two white women, students at the University of Pretoria participated in blackface they infringed upon their own dignity while demonstrating the deep racism that is still present in our society. Without neglecting the dignity of the victims of racism, I still believe that what we all have in common is a desire to live in a country that affirms the humanity of all who live in it. In order to do this, we need to have conversations that seek to find common ground, speak truth and find ways to build beyond ourselves. I write this not to condemn the women as human beings, rather to condemn their actions and demonstrate how these actions are part of a larger white racial frame dominating institutions from the Cape to the Limpopo River. I aim to highlight the extent of white privilege in the country so as to foster a conversation about how we can uproot the inherent oppression that gives birth to these hurtful realities. Continue reading

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