In our own skins: A Political History of the Coloured People

In Our Own Skins is the extraordinary record of the political history of the Coloured People of South Africa.
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Title: In our own skins
Subtitle: A Political History of the Coloured People
Author: Richard van der Ross
Genre: South African society and politics
Publisher: Jonathan Ball Publishers
Johannesburg; Cape Town, South Africa 2015
ISBN 9781868426676 / ISBN 978-1-86842-667-6
Softcover, 16 x 24 cm, 216 pages


As the Dutch and, later. the British seep into southern Africa's arid west, they form an uneasy alliance with the indigenous people. In the first unions between settlers and indigenous peoples, the Coloured people of the Cape flicker to life. Past-forward to 1910, the Union of South Africa, which sees the Coloured people lose what little parliamentary representation they had under the British. 'In our own skins: A Political History of the Coloured People' is the extraordinary record of the Coloured community and its 84-year battle to regain the franchise, told through the eyes of uncompromising insider Richard van der Ross. From the Stone meetings, conducted from a boulder on a windswept District Six hillside, to a petition carried, torch-like, to faraway London in 1909, it maps a trajectory of loss, and of restoration. Its rich cast, among others, the Glasgow-educated Dr Abdullah Abdurahman, his fiery daughter Cissie Gool, the Ghanaian FZS Peregrino, Jimmy and Alex la Guma and Labour Party stalwart Allan Hendrick, plays a leading role in pulling the Coloured people through the post-colonial morass that is South Africa up to 1994 and beyond and proudly placing them, fully represented, in the Cabinet of Nelson Mandela.

Content: In our own skins: A Political History of the Coloured People

Author's foreword
A political history of the Coloured people
Early political organisations
The APO and Dr Abdurahman
During Abdurahman's time
The APO: The official organ of the African Political Organisation
Extracts from The APO, 1909-1923
The multiracial conferences and the fall of the APO old guard
The CAC and Anti-CAD: Outright rejection and cautious co-operation
Further government attempts to find solutions
Economic factors
The end of apartheid
The Coloured and African-American people and South Africa's future