Communicative Aspects of South African Literature : Framing a Tool of the Struggle Against Apartheid
Literature by black South Africans emerged in the 20th century. The first generation of mission-educated African writers sought to restore dignity to Africans by invoking and reconstructing a heroic African past. The 1950s also saw a new generation of black writers talking about the conditions of their lives in their own voices - voices with a distinctive stamp and style. The popular Drum magazine in the 1950s was their forum, and encouraged their emergence. It depicted a vibrant urban black culture for the first time - a world of jazz, shebeens (illegal drinking dens), and flamboyant gangsters (tsotsis). The aim of the paper is to appraise the apartheid communicative strategies of South African literature as a framing tool of the struggle against apartheid. The refrain mined from the data is based on the opinion of Modisane where he voiced the view that the most problematic and vital area of his life in South Africa was his search for an African Identity. The relevant literature was gathered to gain the insight into the effectiveness of Apartheid's communicative strategies as expressed in the writings of Black South African writers. The paper also aims to conceal how various genres were utilised as a vehicle that promoted the political ideas of anti-apartheid popular movements, like the Black Consciousness Movement. Steve Biko's I write what I Like, among other texts, is a prime example.