A key mechanism of apartheid in South Africa was the set of restrictions placed on the movements of Africans; in particular, African women were subject to lives of daily surveillance and highly regulated housing, employment and mobility. Here Lee explores the lives and testimonies of three generations of African women in Cape Town during the apartheid (1948-94) and post-apartheid periods. Through life histories and a wealth of evidence, Lee considers how African women differently experienced apartheid, offering an intimate account of their attempts to locate "home" in the urban setting. The various strategies of settlement African women crafted over five decades provide a compelling portrait of adaptation, resilience and change. Drawing together perspectives from anthropology, history, human geography and development studies, African Women and Apartheid will be valuable to anyone with interests in South African culture and society, gender, urbanization, the African family, oral history and memory.
About the Author
Rebekah Lee is Lecturer in the Department of History at Goldsmiths College, University of London. She has published on the social and cultural history of South Africa, and her research interests include gender and migration, religion, identity, health and material culture. She is currently engaged in a collaborative project on the history of death in Africa from c.1800 to the present day.
Table of Contents
* Introduction: Location, Method, Meaning
• Mapping Cape Town’s Historical and Political Geography, 1948-2000
• Structure and Agency in African Households
• Home Improvement, Self Improvement: Renovations and the Reconstruction of ‘Home’
• Hearth and Home: Energy Resourcing and Consumption in an Urban Environment
• Beloved Unions?: Associational Life in Town
• ‘Moving’ Memories, Urbanising Identities