The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

I Am Angel

I am Angel’ provides the first scholarly outline for the development of a narrative of same-sex working class African men. The book’s core analytic thrust centres around two sources: a previously unpublished primary source from the early twentieth century and unique oral history interviews with men remembering their lives in the gay settlement of Mkhumbane.

While South Africa’s Bill of Rights provides constitutional protection for the right of any person to choose her or his own sexual preferences, this, however, has not prevented violent and even murderous assaults on members of the growing and increasingly vocal LGBTI community. As revealed by the dearth of not only published works on South African’s gay communities but also reasoned public discussion as well as the recent controversy over the film Inxeba, there is considerable urgency in confronting entrenched bigotry, prejudice, and homophobia.

In its focus on men deemed to be `outside of history’, ‘I am Angel’ recovers the stories of these men whose very existence has been suppressed and vilified. In so doing, the book inspires South Africans, together with these men, to reimagine an inclusive sense of the past as well as the future.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 296
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2583-1
Publish Year : March 2020
Rights : World Rights

Contents

INTRODUCTION

Essay “`I am Angel`. African working class same-sex identities, history and politics, past and present”

PART ONE IZINKOTSHANE yaseGOLI

Marc Epprecht

Essay “A Sex Scandal on the Gold mines. Johannesburg 1907”

Map

Photographs

Edited oral enquiry transcript

  • Transvaal Colony Confidential Enquiry into Alleged Prevalence of Unnatural Vice in Mine Compounds on the Witwatersrand, 1907

PART TWO INGQINGILI yaseMKHUMBANE

Iain Edwards

Essay “The izingqingili yaseMkhumbane. An oral history”

Maps

Photographs

Edited oral history interview transcripts

  • Man About Town
  • 5 March 1995
  • Mqenge
  • 7 November 1995
  • 26 November 1995
  • 2 December 1995
  • 16 December 1995
  • Leader’s Son
  • 13 December 1995
  • Young Onlooker
  • 19 December 1995
  • Angel
  • n.d. 1996
  • 16 March 1996
  • 23 March 1996
  • 2 April 1996

CONCLUSION

Iain Edwards is an independent historian with scholarly interests in oral history and historiography and historical methods, particularly concerning life histories and public heritage and history. In the early 1990s, he led the successful public campaign establishing the Kwa Muhle Museum in Durban; served as the historical expert on legal teams successfully representing previous African and Indian residents of Cato Manor Farm in Land Claims Court cases; and, as a government special advisor, was involved in the early stages of developing the historical narrative for the Freedom Park Heritage and Museum site.

Marc Epprecht is a professor in the Department of Global Development Studies at Queen's University, where he teaches courses on culture and development, HIV/AIDS, and southern Africa. He has published extensively on the history of gender and sexuality in Africa, primarily in Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa. His research engages with human rights questions and the ethics of research, activism, and knowledge production in Africa and the Global South more generally. He was a contributor and the associate editor for the African contributions to H. Chiang (ed.) Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) History.

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