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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Coloured Identity and the Politics of Coloured Education: The Origin of the Teachers' League of South Africa
Author:Adhikari, MohamedISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:ethnic identity
trade unions
Education and Oral Traditions
Labor and Employment
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/220972
Abstract:The Teachers' League of South Africa (TLSA) was inaugurated in Cape Town in June 1913 as the first professional association expressly for coloured teachers. Why did the desire for a racially exclusive coloured teachers' organization arise in South Africa at that time? The answer to this question lies in the emergence of a coloured identity within the racially stratified Cape society during the 19th century and the concomitant development of a separatist political strategy among coloureds. This article describes this development, paying attention to the founding, in 1902, of the first substantive coloured political association, the African Political Organization (APO) in Cape Town, the segregation of schooling at the Cape, the APO's role as midwife in the birth of the TLSA, the desire of both the coloured political leadership and the teaching profession to improve the quality of education available to coloureds, the more assertive stance of the younger generation of politicized coloureds in the early 20th century, and the formation of the TLSA. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the article argues that coloured identity was neither inherent to its bearers nor simply imposed upon hapless people by an all-powerful State serving the interests of the white ruling class. Instead it demonstrates that coloured identity was primarily a product of coloured people themselves. Notes, ref.