Write about black history urges Xolela Mangcu

Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town, Xolela Mangcu, says it's sad that biographies of early and current black scholars and luminaries are lacking.

Mangcu wrote a heartfelt column for the Independent Media Online expressing his views about how such writings would 'inspire a truly decolonised, literary revolution'.

He said it is unforgivable that there is no biographies of people such as Griffiths Mxenge, Mapetla Mohapi, Selby Msimang and Govan Mbeki.

I have always wondered why we don't do biographies. There are hundreds of people that we could write about and get students started at honours level, and the project could grow into a masters thesis, phd and potentially become a book.

Xolela Mangcu, Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town

It's an interesting way of doing history. Biography can introduce you to history in ways that may surprise you.

Xolela Mangcu, Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town

He says such biographies would paint an important narrative of the difficult lives black people lived in South Africa.

We need to institutionalise the stuff in universities. We need to teach biographies.

Xolela Mangcu, Professor of Sociology at the University of Cape Town

Listen to Xolela Mangcu's discuss the importance of writing black biographies with Eusebius McKaiser...

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