Die Swart Afrikaanse skrywersimposium – oorspronge en konteks

  • Hein Willemse University of Pretoria, Pretoria
Keywords: Afrikaans language, Afrikaans literature, Black Afrikaans writers, Black Consciousness, identity formation


This essay in modified form was presented on invitation to the Third Black Afrikaans Writers’ Symposium (2005). It recounts the author’s experiences that gave rise to the first symposium twenty years earlier. The relevance of black solidarity to the post-1976 generation of Black Afrikaans writers is explored within the context of similar national and international debates in the 1970s and 1980s. The author argues that through the process of self-naming Black Afrikaans writers opened up possibilities of rethinking the place, role and contribution of black speakers of Afrikaans. In the past Afrikaner nationalism propagated a monolithic perception of the Afrikaans language. Through its influence on Afrikaans language and literary studies the presence and contribution of black speakers were actively played down or silenced. The essay concludes with remarks on the re-negotiation of South African identities and the search for a broader Afrikaans (’n ruimer Afrikaans).


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