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Colonial Lessons: Africans' Education in Southern Rhodesia, 1918-1940

ISBN: 9780325070476
Publisher: Heinemann
Edition: First Printing
Publication Date: 2002-07-30
Number of pages: 248
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  • Regular price $35.50

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Studying of the meanings of education, mission identities, and cultural change in Southern Rhodesia, Summers shows how mission-educated Africans negotiated new identities for themselves and their communities within the confines of segregation. From the beginning of the 20th century to the end of the Second World War, Africans in Southern Rhodesia experienced massive changes. Colonialism was systematized, segregation grew rigid and intensive, and economic changes affected every aspect of life from assembling bridewealth to entrepreneurial opportunities. This book provides a challenging portrayal of the possibilities and limits of African agency within the colonial context.

Mission-educated Africans who aspired to elements of European material culture experienced these transformations most directly. Individually and collectively, they met the barriers erected by an increasingly restive white settler population and Native administration. This book details the strikes organized by students and parents, struggles over curricula, efforts of African teachers to improve their professional status, and conflicts between colonial officials regarding administrative control over schools and development programs. Summers reveals the ways in which these tensions and conflicts allowed select groups of Africans to reconfigure and, to some extent, appropriate aspects of European power.

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