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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A Dance With the Empire: Modiri Molema's Glasgow Years, 1914-1921
Author:Starfield, Jane
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Great Britain
South Africa
Subjects:African identity
biographies (form)
History and Exploration
Health and Nutrition
Ethnic and Race Relations
About person:Seetsele Modiri Molema (1892-1965)ISNI
Abstract:The year 1919 found Seetsele Modiri Molema President of the African Races Association of Glasgow (ARA), a grouping of Glasgow's black colonial students. In addition to his medical studies, Modiri found time to compose some 400 pages on the history and ethnography of the black people of South Africa: published in 1920 as 'The Bantu past and present'. By analysing aspects of Modiri Molema's life, this paper suggests that 'The Bantu' is a work that represents the structure and philosophical content of the ambiguity in which he was finding his life cast. Ambiguous notions of class, education, race, leadership and colonization came to characterize many aspects of his personal and intellectual life. Between 1914-1921, while 'exiled' from home first by war and then by the impossibility of obtaining a return passage, his letters evidenced his struggle to preserve his African identity. 'The Bantu' was an 'answer' to Modiri's sense of strangeness in Glasgow. Notes, ref., sum.