"Denying the coloured mother" : gender and race in South Africa

Verfasst von: Distiller, Natasha [weitere]
in: L' homme
2005 , Heft: 2 , 28 - 46 S.

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Einrichtung: Frauensolidarität | Wien
Verfasst von: Distiller, Natasha; Samuelson, Meg
In: L' homme
Jahr: 2005
Heft: 2
Sprache: Englisch
This article brings to light, contextualises, and makes use of, some of the historical writing of Marie Kathleen Jeffreys, an archivist who lived in early Apartheid South Africa. Jeffreys wrote extensively about the social origins of the South African nation, specifically about slavery in the colonial Cape, as part of a project to resist the increasingly ossifying racist legal and social structures of South Africa. In this paper we focus on Jeffrey's representation of Krotoa-Eva, the first Khoikhoi woman to marry into colonial settler society, and who acted as an interpreter between the Dutch and Khoikhoi. We compare Jeffreys' use of Krotoa-Eva as a 'mother of the nation' figure to the resurgence of writing about her in post-apartheid South Africa. Paying attention to the institution of slavery and particularly its dimensions of gender violence in die early Cape, we argue that discourses of 'racial difference' and 'racial mixing' in the formation of the nation need to be seen in an historical perspective that takes account of the functioning of gender, both as an axis of experience with a relation to 'race' that has remained unacknowledged by South African writers about Krotoa-Eva, and as a tool for discursive identity construction.
Signaturstamm: I A 2140
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