A new book describes the life and journey of Fatima Meer

Professor Shireen Hassim has written a book about anti-apartheid struggle stalwart Fatima Meer called Voices of liberation: Fatima Meer. According to Hassim, Meer had an amazing profile especially to those who grew up in KwaZulu-Natal but at the same time was invisible to many.

She details Meer's journey from the time her family immigrated to South Africa and settled in Natal.

The Meer family was not wealthy but lived comfortably, she says.

Read: 'Gangster State' author says book launch chaos shows ANC intellectualism is gone

She came from a political family and because of their trading interests they were part of the elite in Natal. The colonial and union state was trying to impose restrictions on them and this was the group that was trying to resist segregation and trading laws.

Professor Shireen Hassim, Author

All the women in her family were very political so she was also expected to be political. They were camping out at Red Square against the imposition of passes and against unethical acts of the state.

Professor Shireen Hassim, Author

When she was 21 she went to study at Wits and she didn't particularly like it there. She felt a little constrained, so she went back. She is really a product of the University of Natal.

Professor Shireen Hassim, Author

And that is where she experienced a lot of racism and how difficult it was to be amongst these tiny minority of people of colour in the university.

Professor Shireen Hassim, Author

The book will be launched on Tuesday 18 June at WiSER Seminar room, Wits University at 17h30.

Sarah Nuttall will convene a discussion together with Eusebius McKaiser, Nafisa Essop Sheik and Shireen Hassim.

To hear the rest of the discussions on the book, listen below:


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