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African Languages and Societies Commons

Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

2000

Racial fear

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Full-Text Articles in African Languages and Societies

Nadine Gordimer's Fictional Selves: Can A White Woman Be At Home In Black South Africa?, Nancy Topping Bazin Jan 2000

Nadine Gordimer's Fictional Selves: Can A White Woman Be At Home In Black South Africa?, Nancy Topping Bazin

Women's Studies Faculty Publications

(First paragraph) Growing up in South Africa where only 5.6 million people are white out of a population of 37.9 million, Nadine Gordimer became increasingly conscious of her whiteness1. The colour of her skin instantly signaled 'oppressor' to black South Africans. Her whiteness imposed upon her a social and political identity that she rejected; yet, it was like a face she could not wash off, a mask she could not take off. As she said in a 1978 interview, 'In South Africa one wears one's skin like a uniform. White equals guilt' (Bazin & Seymour 1990:94 ...