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'Begging to be Black': Liminality and Critique in Post Apartheid South Africa

By Stewart Motha


This article explores the distinction between anti-colonial longing and postcolonial becoming through a commentary on Antjie Krog’s Begging to Be Black. The epistemology and ontology of postcolonial becoming is the central concern. Begging to Be Black is a mytho-poetic narrative in which a world is imagined where King Moshoeshoe, missionaries from the 19th century, Antjie Krog and her friends and colleagues, ANC cadres, the Deleuzian philosopher Paul Patton, Nelson Mandela, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the ANC Youth League are placed in the same narrative space where they can intermingle. And this is done to respond to a crisis of the present — the difficulties South Africans face in grappling with the legacies of colonialism and Apartheid, and the fact that there is a process of un-homing and re-homing that Krog feels white South Africans in particular need to think about more deeply. The article compares Krog’s approach to decolonization with that of the leading South African philosopher of ubuntu, Mogobe Ramose. Both Krog and Ramose offer the epistemological and ontological resources for grappling with the relationship between past, present and future in a decolonizing setting. The article examines how postcolonial critique may take place through liminal figures. Liminality is characterized as central to postcolonial becomin

Topics: K
Publisher: Sage
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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