A generational exploration of coloured identity in post-apartheid South Africa: marching towards a new personhood
Roman, Nicolette V.
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During the early history of South Africa, in what would become the Western Cape province, Europeans (from Dutch, German, French, and Portuguese) mixed racially and culturally with Cape slaves (from Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Mozambique) and the indigenous Black (Khoisan) population; the resultant multiracial/multicultural group was the Cape Coloureds. With the dismantling of apartheid, South Africa’s core cultural framework and hierarchy shifted, and concurrently, so too did society’s understanding of racial and cultural identities. Issues of group membership, race and identity have become more personal affairs and less driven by state policies and rhetoric. The study examines the impact of these changes, focus groups with two generations of Coloured South Africans (aged 20 – 67) were conducted. Questions focused on race, racial identity, and their perceptions of Coloured identity in the post-Apartheid era.