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Liberation and Development
Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa
Liberation and Development: Black Consciousness Community Programs in South Africa is an account of the community development programs of the Black Consciousness movement in South Africa. It covers the emergence of the movement’s ideas and practices in the context of the late 1960s and early 1970s, then analyzes how activists refined their practices, mobilized resources, and influenced people through their work. The book examines this history primarily through the Black Community Programs organization and its three major projects: the yearbook Black Review, the Zanempilo Community Health Center, and the Njwaxa leatherwork factory. As opposed to better-known studies of antipolitical, macroeconomic initiatives, this book shows that people from the so-called global South led development in innovative ways that promised to increase social and political participation. It particularly explores the power that youth, women, and churches had in leading change in a hostile political environment. With this new perspective on a major liberation movement, Hadfield not only causes us to rethink aspects of African history but also offers lessons from the past for African societies still dealing with developmental challenges similar to those faced during apartheid.
Publication Date: May 1st, 2016
270 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Leslie Anne Hadfield is an assistant professor of African history at Brigham Young University. She has published articles in various African history journals.

Early Praise

Liberation and Development is a major accomplishment. Hadfield’s study shows what Black Consciousness meant in the lives of the usually overlooked community development workers who knew it not as an abstract political philosophy but as the lived experience of social and personal development under apartheid. Hadfield’s study is a vital intervention in the history of the struggle against apartheid, the social history of the 1970s, and the African origins of community development. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in understanding what Black Consciousness leaders like Steve Biko actually did during their all-too-short lives as activists. Based on comprehensive work with oral and written sources and rendered in sparkling prose, Liberation and Development announces exciting new directions in the historiography of twentieth-century South Africa.”
Daniel R. Magaziner, author of The Law and the Prophets: Black Consciousness in South Africa, 1968–1977

“Much has been written about Steve Biko and the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) in South Africa in the 1970s. Drawing on extensive interviews, Leslie Hadfield takes our understanding of the BCM to a deeper level by examining three of its Black Community Programs' projects. Her insightful study is a much-needed contribution to our understanding of the challenges of participatory development at the grassroots level and is a must-read for anyone grappling with development issues.”
Robert Edgar, professor of African Studies, Howard University

“The Black Consciousness Community Programs of forty years ago may now be largely forgotten, but important lessons can be learned from them for development today. Hadfield’s pioneering exploration of their successes and failures is a valuable contribution to our knowledge of what Black Consciousness achieved.”
Chris Saunders, emeritus professor in Historical Studies, University of Cape Town

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