Title:  The Colour of Our Future

Subtitle: Does Race Matter in Post-Apartheid South Africa?
Author:  Xolela Mangcu

ISBN:              978-186-814-5690

Size:               215 x 130mm

Extent:            256 Pages

Format:          Softcover

SA Rel:           July 2015

RRP:               R 280.00


The Colour of Our Future is a timely book. The individual chapters clearly show that questions of race have not withered away with the installation of a progressive constitution intended to create a non-racial society. That there might be good reason for understanding and accepting racial identities that are not only imposed or accepted for the purpose of resistance, but can, properly understood, be part of a positive future, is to be welcomed — Paul Graham, former executive director of IDASA


The Colour of Our Future makes a bold and ambitious contribution to the discourse on race. It addresses the tension between the promise of a post-racial society and the persistence of racialised identities in South Africa, which has historically played itself out in debates between non-racialism and black consciousness. The chapters in this volume highlight that interrogating the past in order to understand the present and map out a unified, integrated future is only a starting point. What is required is a race-transcendent vision that moves beyond ‘the festival of negatives’ embodied in concepts such as non-racialism, non-sexism, anti-colonialism and anti-apartheid. Steve Biko’s notion of a ‘joint culture’ is the scaffold on which this vision rests; it recognises that a race-transcendent society can only be built by taking into account the constituent elements of South Africa’s EuroAfricanAsian heritage. The distinguished authors in this volume have, over the past two decades, used the democratic space to insert new conversations into the public domain around the intersections of race and the economy, race and the state, race and the environment, race and ethnic difference, and race and higher education. Presented here is some of their most sophisticated and yet still evolving thinking. South Africa is ready for a new vocabulary that can form the basis for a national consciousness that simultaneously recognises racialized identities while affirming that as human beings we are much more than our racial, sexual, class, religious or national identities.


About the Author:

Xolela Mangcu is associate professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Cape Town. He is the editor of Becoming Worthy Ancestors: Archive, Public Deliberation and Identity in South Africa (2011 – Wits University Press)



Published By: Wits University Press

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