Thinking about week 3

Thanks for your comments on Amandla! and your specific questions (I’ve posted replies to those–but they’re not showing up on the site. Hope to have that fixed soon.)

In today’s class (Tuesday) we will discuss:

  • Perceptions and portrayals of Mandela’s role in the ANC & the Defiance Campaign
  • The role of music in the struggle
  • The ANC’s relationship with other organizations, including organized labor and the Communist Party
  • Gender roles and family relationships

Class will conclude with a quick preview of what’s coming next

PLEASE NOTE: I’ve adjusted the reading for week 4–dropping one of the chapters. I want to slow down and have more discussion, and so will skip the comparison I had planned. I will still post the chapter of Van Onselen’s The Seed is Mine, for those of you who are interested.

Reading for historical background

The first reading assignment, which you should complete before class on Thursday, is intended to give you background and context. There are  three different texts: the introduction and historical background in Clark & Worger; the preface from Lodge about why Mandela’s early life matters; then a comic book version of Mandela’s early life. Don’t dismiss the visuals; there’s lots of information in the graphic–more like a graphic novel than a kid’s comic book. It’s an accessible introduction to Mandela’s childhood and education.

Read C&W for basic chronological overview. Don’t obsess about details yet. We’ll take two different approaches to that history in lecture on Thursday.

Think about Mandela’s early life in terms of the differences between rural and urban life, between the economy and social expectations of in an African kingdom compared to what you know about life in industrial cities in the 1930s. Consider also the discipline involved in life at the Regent’s court in Transkei compared to the discipline required of ANC members.