In Apartheid’s Shadow: Australian Race Politics and South Africa, 1945–1975 [Paperback]

Roger Bell (Author)

ISBN: 9781925801675 | Published by: Australian Scholarly Publishing | Year of Publication: 2020 | Language: English 370p,

In Apartheid’s Shadow


In 1952 an Australian journalist cabled from Johannesburg: ‘Apartheid is the trigger that has fired racial explosions in South Africa and sent echoes rumbling around the world’. In the outposts of Europe’s unstable empires, entrenched racism came under unprecedented assault. ’White Australia’, in particular, was challenged as opposition to racial oppression under a white minority regime in South Africa hardened. In both countries the politics of anti-racism were unleashed, in different ways and with very different consequences.

In South Africa entrenched systems of white supremacy were brutally enforced under apartheid. In Australia, ideologies of race and white privilege were disrupted and, slowly, walls of discrimination cracked. Race politics in post-war Australia was deeply affected by the fractious international struggle over apartheid.

The movement against apartheid obliged white Australia to grapple with moral and political issues embedded in its own racialised history and sense of nationhood. Contests provoked by apartheid were played out on the world stage and, as Indigenous activists emphasised, in Australia’s own backyard.

This pioneering book explores these struggles as white Australia negotiated its place in a post-colonial world.

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