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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Black Competition or White Resentment? African Retailers in Salisbury, 1935-1953
Author:Wild, Volker
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Great Britain
retail trade
History and Exploration
Economics and Trade
Law, Human Rights and Violence
Ethnic and Race Relations
Politics and Government
Abstract:At the beginning of rapid African urbanization in the mid-1930s, the African retail trade in Salisbury was set for promising growth. However, in the following twenty years this growth was effectively dwarfed by the segregatory policies and bureaucratic legalism of the settler administration. The little research which has been carried out on African business in colonial Zimbabwe basically suggests that this class fell victim to white fear of black competition. The present author argues that fear of competition was not always the main reason for discrimination against African business. He analyses the history of African retailing in Salisbury before, during and after the Second World War, using as examples the native eating-houses, the first type of African business to be restricted by municipal policies, and African general traders. He also analyses African trading in the Location (the urban African settlement). The conclusion is that there was very little reason for white business to be afraid of black competition. There were two other reasons for discriminating against African business. On the general level, commercial segregation was part of a wider policy of urban segregation. All urban Africans were pushed out of town. A more particular reason was white resentment against the presence of African trade in town and the accompanying nuisances: blocked pavements, shouting and singing crowds, stench, and disturbed nights. Notes, ref., sum.