“A ‘Black’ or a ‘White’ Peril?”

Lucy Valerie Graham

in State of Peril

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780199796373
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933327 | DOI:
“A ‘Black’ or a ‘White’ Peril?”

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Chapter Three considers the transition from segregation to apartheid, outlining the ways in which an obsessive focus on either “black” or “white peril” maybe read as a symptom of a melancholy inability to imagine interracial love. Beginning with the work of Sol Plaatje, a writer who is able to imagine the possibility of harmonious interracial relationships, the chapter examines his The Mote and the Beam as a transnational “sex tract” that explores the dilemmas around interracial sex. After an examination of some of the work of Sarah Gertrude Millin, the chapter examines the differences between the American and British/South African editions of Daphne Rooke’s novel, Mittee. It is argued that, despite an inclination at times to draw on racist stereotypes, Rooke is the only major white writer of the apartheid era to draw attention to intraracial, rather than interracial, sexual violence.

Keywords: segregation; Apartheid; love; race; violence

Chapter.  16197 words. 

Subjects: Literature

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