Mind Your Colour: The "coloured" Stereotype in South African Literature

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K. Paul International, 1991 - Literary Criticism - 282 pages
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Mind Your Colour is about the creation and maintenance of a cultural stereotype. It deals with the people classified by South African racial legislation as 'coloureds', and with the image forced upon them by South African society, an image which reflects and reinforces the political subordination of the group. Dr February examines the 'coloured' stereotype in English, Afrikaans and Dutch literature, suggesting that it has served as a means of social control and repression. From the first unflattering historical depiction of the Khoi to the work of contemporary writers, the picture ranges from the comically distorted to ambiguity and near-kinship, culminating in 'coloured' youngsters embracing the Black Consciousness cause in 1976. But as political consciousness has grown among the 'coloureds', the general picture has become less favourable. Dr February considers in detail Afrikaans authors and novels which deal specifically with the problem of the 'coloureds'. His central thesis is that their work has done much to shape Afrikaner attitudes towards black people: the late Dr Donges cited the work of Regina Neser and Sarah Gertrude Millin in support of his law to prohibit 'sex across the colour line' in 1948. In Dr February's words, this book is 'an attempt to hold a mirror to South Africa's dirty face,' to show up the 'coloured' image as an artificial stereotype.

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Contents

Untroubled things
17
You taught me language
40
Smelling strangeness
52
Copyright

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