Title: Internal Frontiers: African Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora in Twentieth-Century South Africa
Author: Jon Soske
Publisher: WITS University Press
Country of Origin: South Africa
Publication Year: 2018
Bib. Info: Paperback; 360pp
This paradigm-shifting book locates a radical strain of South African nationalism in the political firmament of postwar Durban. Deeply researched and beautifully written, Internal Frontiers reveals how insurgent intellectuals such as Anton Lembede and Albert Luthuli, influenced by India’s independence movement and the challenges of building solidarity with Natal’s Indian diaspora, conceived a vision of the nation ‘from below’ that affirmed African agency while also embracing a diverse, multi-ethnic political community.” – Robin D. G. Kelley, author of Freedom Dreams: The Black Radical Imagination
In this ambitious new history of the anti-apartheid struggle, Jon Soske places India and the Indian diaspora at the center of the African National Congress’s development of an inclusive philosophy of nationalism. Even as Indian independence provided black South African intellectuals with new models of conceptualizing sovereignty, debates over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa forced a reconsideration of South Africa’s internal and external boundaries, not least by the ANC thinkers—led by Albert Luthuli—centered in Durban. There, they developed a new philosophy of nationhood that affirmed South Africa’s simultaneously heterogeneous and fundamentally African character. In describing this process, Soske makes a major contribution to postcolonial and Indian Ocean studies and charts new ways of writing about African nationalism.