Black South African scholars urged to correct white historians’ distortion

Historians in the News
tags: South Africa, National Heritage Council

Thumbnail Image -  By Sam Nzima - Dzambukira, Proud (November 5, 2006). "Remember, Remember the Fifth of November". Harvard Computer Society., Fair use

South Africa's National Heritage Council (NHC) has called on the country's black historians to make an effort to correct the distortions of history in some books by white historians.

This was said on Friday night by the NHC CEO Advocate Sonwabile Mancotywa at the launch of Black Sacrifice, a book about British warship SS Mendi which sank in 1917, killing 646 soldiers with the majority being black South Africans.

The book was written by Gladstone Sandi Baai who passed away in 2012 after submitting the manuscript to the NHC. Mancotywa said the book is the first one written by a black scholar about the sunken troopship.

"This book will remove some distortions and contradictions about SS Mendi by white scholars. We do not know a lot about ourselves. This is the decolonization of the African heritage narrative and participation of the Africans in the World War I," said Mancotywa.

He said South Africans were recruited as slaves and laborers and used as soldiers in some wars which were not theirs. Mancotywa said Africans were segregated when fighting alongside the British while they also staged their own in the ship. He said about 150 wars were fought against the British and called on that to be documented. ...

Read entire article at xinhuanet.com

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