https://www.polity.org.za
Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / Author Interviews RSS ← Back
Close

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by

Close

Article Enquiry

The Cape Radicals – Crain Soudien

Close

Embed Video

The Cape Radicals – Crain Soudien

Crain Soudien unpacks his book 'The Cape Radicals: Intellectual and political thought of the New Era Fellowship, 1930s-1960s'. (Camera & Editing: Darlene Creamer)

31st January 2020

ARTICLE ENQUIRY      SAVE THIS ARTICLE      EMAIL THIS ARTICLE

Font size: -+

In 1937 a group of young Capetonians, socialist intellectuals from the Workers’ Party of South Africa and the Non-European Unity Movement, embarked on a remarkable public education and cultural project they called the New Era Fellowship (NEF).

Through public debates, lectures, study circles and cultural events a new cultural and political project was born in Cape Town. Taking a position of non-collaboration and non-racialism, the NEF played a vital role in challenging society’s responses to events ranging from the problem of taking up arms during the Second World War for an empire intent on stripping people of colour of their human rights, to the Hertzog Bills, which foreshadowed apartheid in all its ruthless effectiveness.

Advertisement

The group included some of the city’s most talented scholar-activists, among them Isaac Tabata, Ben Kies, A C Jordan, Phyllis Ntantala, Mda Mda and members of the famed Gool and Abdurahman families. Their aim was to disrupt and challenge not only prevailing political narratives but the very premises – class and race – on which they were based.

By the 1950s their ideas had spread to a second generation of talented individuals who would disseminate them in the high schools of Cape Town. In time, some would exert their influence on national politics beyond the confines of the Cape. Among these were former minister of justice, Dullah Omar, academic Hosea Jaffe, educationist Neville Alexander and author Richard Rive. This book is a testament to how the NEF was at the forefront of redefining the discourse of racialism and nationalism in South Africa.

Advertisement

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Crain Soudien is an educationist and sociologist, Chief Executive Officer of the Human Sciences Research Council and an Honorary Professor at Nelson Mandela University. He is the author of Realising the Dream: Unlearning the Logic of Race in the South African School (2012).

 

The Cape Radicals: Intellectual and political thought of the New Era Fellowship, 1930s-1960s is published by Wits University Press

EMAIL THIS ARTICLE      SAVE THIS ARTICLE ARTICLE ENQUIRY

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here

Comment Guidelines

About

Polity.org.za is a product of Creamer Media.
www.creamermedia.co.za

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more

Subscriptions

We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store

Advertise

Advertising on Polity.org.za is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email advertising@creamermedia.co.za

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now