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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:B D Lalla's 'The Black Coolie': a struggle for a voice
Author:Sheik, Ayub
Periodical:Current Writing: Text and Reception in Southern Africa (ISSN 2159-9130)
Geographic terms:South Africa
group identity
race relations
About person:B.D. Lalla
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/1013929X.2015.1059023
Abstract:B D Lalla's The Black Coolie (1946) is a romanticised reverie of the Indian diaspora to the Natal sugar belt. The Black Coolie is graphically suggestive of a racial other, and represents a significant and rare chronicle of the ideological development and expression of the South African Indian migrant community and their realignment in the politics of identity. Lalla's poetry is viewed in an intertextual relationship with the migrant folksongs of diaspora, and his work serves as witness to the racial politics of the time. Collectively, the focalised voices represent subjective narratives and utterances of an underclass driven by the contradictory pulses of despair and hope. The Black Coolie (1946) signified a realignment of Indian political identity, and prefigured the notion of Black Consciousness as being inclusive of Indians, Africans and Coloureds. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]