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Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony$
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Daniel Herwitz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231160186

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231160186.001.0001

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Renaissance and Pandemic

Renaissance and Pandemic

(p.135) Chapter Five Renaissance and Pandemic
Heritage, Culture, and Politics in the Postcolony

Daniel Herwitz

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines Thabo Mbeki's African Renaissance—the liberal growth of Africa through a return to, and reaffirmation of, the African past, and through related, shared African values. Mbeki criticized the economic inequality in South Africa, stating that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission could not resolve the problem. He then reiterated that the only solution would be the African Renaissance of democratization, development, and the overcoming of racism. He added that everything about the future of Africa was already contained in the glories of its past; thus, Africans should return to these glories—by affirming them, and by using them to pave the way for that future. This affirmation makes Mbeki's African Renaissance a language of decolonization, as well as a language of rehabilitation through assertion of essence.

Keywords:   Thabo Mbeki, African Renaissance, African values, Truth and Reconciliation Commission, African past

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