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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Fighting with Their Might Pens: A Comparison of the Education and Literary Works of the Black Writers of Sophiatown and Soweto Generations in the Republic of South Africa, 1950-1980
Author:Choonoo, R. Neville
Periodical:Africana Journal
Geographic term:South Africa
literature (form)
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:There are essentially two groups of South African writers today: those who have been driven into or chosen exile and have been living outside the country for the past twenty-odd years, and those who came of age in the period after 1970 who have lived and worked within the apartheid structure. The two literatures produced by these groups manifest different features that reflect the educational and political experiences of the writers. This paper compares the output of the authors of the fifties (the Sophiatown generation) with that of the writers of the seventies (the Soweto generation). The repertoire of the Sophiatown generation consisted of short stories and autobiographies. Prose dominated. In 1953, the progressive mission-school system that had nurtured a powerful African elite was destroyed and replaced by Bantu education, calculated to keep blacks in a state of servitude. This new black schooling system unwittingly provoked a new brand of literature. The voices of the Soweto generation came out of township life, out of a black experience, and manifested itself in the burst of a hitherto unexplored genre in South Africa: poetry. Ref.