Black Power in South Africa: The Evolution of an Ideology by Gail M. Gerhart

By Gail M. Gerhart

Black energy In South Africa: The Evolution Of An Idealogy, through Gerhart, Gail M.

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20 By the time Phillips published this particular piece of advice, however, relations between the African elite and its white sym pathizers had already become somewhat frayed in the course of the political crisis of 1935-36, during which liberal politi cians had done conspicuously little to defend African voters threatened with removal from the Cape common roll. One of many successive waves of disillusionment had swept through African middle class society, edging African opinion as a whole one small but perceptible step away from the liberal norm.

The self-sufficient African peasant was likewise frowned upon, since his very existence was inconsistent with white interests. The strongest white disapproval, however, was reserved for the educated African who imitated European ways and as pired to some form of work above manual labor. "The raw, un- SOCIAL FOUNDATIONS tutored, unclad Kafirs, fresh from their 'kraals' [homes] up the mountains are by far the best and the most trustworthy workmen," one Kimberley diamond-digger of the late nineteenth century declared.

IDEOLOGICAL RESPONSES TO INEQUALITY 19 In addition to their efforts to exploit these basic properties of ideology-its ability to help create consciousness, identity, and solidarity-some African ideologues have gone a step fur ther and attempted to use ideology to reorient African ethical perspectives so as to more easily reconcile popular concepts of moral rectitude with increasingly radical African political goals. This use of ideology as a device to affect African nor mative values has been, and will undoubtedly in the future continue to be, one of the most fundamental forces of change in African politics.

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