By Gill Straker
“The book’s major and unique strength is the psychological depth with which individual youths are portrayed…The book provides a layered, multifaceted and textured perception of this group of our society and refuses to allow us to unwittingly or willfully relate to them in an undifferentiated blanket fashion.”
Kedibone Letlaka-Rennert, African Studies Review
One of South Africa’s most serious problems is the large number of youths in the black townships who have been exposed to an incredible depth and complexity of trauma. Not only have they lived through severe poverty, the deterioration of family and social structures, and an inferior education system, but they have also been involved in catastrophic levels of violence, both as victims and as perpetrators. What are the effects of the milieu? What future is there for this generation? Above all, who are they?
In the mid-1980s Gill Straker, Professor of Psychology at the University of the Witwatersrand, was called in by the South African Council of Churches as part of a counseling team to provide therapeutic services for a group of young blacks who had been driven out of their township by vigilantes. Their lives had been threatened, and many had participated in various forms of violence – stoning of vehicles, burning of houses belonging to local counselors, some even taking part in “necklacing.”
This counseling experience, together with a follow-up study of the same group three years later, is the basis of Gill Straker’s book, Faces in the Revolution, a fascinating psychological profile of the youngsters involved. In her moving and highly readable account, she penetrates beyond the media-generated stereotype of township youth as a brutalized generation, showing instead the processes that motivate the leaders, the conformists and the psychological casualties of the civil war that has raged in South Africa’s townships. Faces in the Revolution will bring a great deal of clarity to concerned readers seeking informed insight into the lives of the young black people at the forefront of this undeclared war.
Save 20% ($13.56)
US and Canada only
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Masculine codes of honor and dominance often are expressed in acts of violence, including war and terrorism. In Disarming Manhood: Roots of Ethical Resistance, David A. J. Richards examines the lives of five famous men—great leaders and crusaders—who actively resisted violence and presented more humane alternatives to further their causes.Richards argues that William Lloyd Garrison, Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas Gandhi, Winston Churchill, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Katutura, located in Namibia’s major urban center and capital, Windhoek, was a township created by apartheid, and administered in the past by the most rigid machinery of the apartheid era. Namibia became a sovereign state in 1990, and Katutura reflects many of the changes that have taken place. No longer part of a rigidly bounded social system, people in Katutura today have the opportunity to enter and leave as their personal circumstances dictate.
Since the late 1940s, a violent African criminal society known as the Marashea has operated in and around South Africa’s gold mining areas. With thousands of members involved in drug smuggling, extortion, and kidnapping, the Marashea was more influential in the day-to-day lives of many black South Africans under apartheid than were agents of the state. These gangs remain active in South Africa.In
Sign up to be notified when new African Studies titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.