Dawne Y. CurryNov 21, 2022
Social Justice at Apartheid's Dawn
African Women Intellectuals and the Quest to Save the Nation
Palgrave MacMillan 2021
Dawne Y. Curry’s Social Justice at Apartheid’s Dawn: African Women Intellectuals and the Quest to Save the Nation (Palgrave MacMillan, 2022), which examines the role of African women in the conversation on nationalism during South Africa’s era of segregation, excavates female voices and brings them to the provocative fore. From 1910 to 1948, African women contributed to political thought as editorialists, club organizers, poets, leaders, and activists who dared to challenge the country’s segregationist regime at a time when it was bent on consolidating White power. Daughters of Africa founder Cecilia Lillian Tshabalala and National Council of African Women President Mina Tembeka Soga feature in this work, which employs the artistic theory of “sampling” and decoloniality to highlight and showcase how these women and others among their cadre spoke truth to power through the fiery lines of their poetry, newspaper columns, thought-provoking speeches, organizational documents, personal testimonies, and musical compositions. It argues that these African women left behind a blueprint to grapple with and contest the political climate in which they lived under segregation, by highlighting the role and agency of African women intellectuals at Apartheid’s dawn.
Amanda Joyce Hall is a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University in the Department of African American Studies. She's on Twitter @amandajoycehall.