I May Not Be a Freedom Fighter, but I Play One on TV

in Starring Mandela and Cosby

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780226451886
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226451909 | DOI:
I May Not Be a Freedom Fighter, but I Play One on TV

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This chapter extends the analysis into the period of political negotiations, bookended by the release (in 1990) and the inauguration (in 1994) of Mandela, both major international media events in and of themselves. As the moment when the structured absence of Black South Africans from political life is overturned and political contestation over maintaining privilege becomes explicit, this fence post represents a crucial turning point in the overall analysis. Contestation around television, particularly control of the SABC, comes to the fore, with a massive increase in both transnational media flows and innovative domestic programming arising simultaneously with an increase in both the scope and magnitude of political violence. Many assumptions of South African social life suddenly opened up for negotiation at the same time that the nation was being reintegrating into international politics and global economies. This period marks both the demise and the reinvention of apartheid in the contexts of democratization and globalization.

Keywords: political negotiations; Nelson Mandel; Black South Africans; television; transnational media flows; political violence; democratization; globalization

Chapter.  11289 words. 

Subjects: African Studies

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