From YouTube to books, we've got 3 ways to understand coloured culture

As conversations around coloured culture become contentious, we look at three media you can use to navigate the difficult definition of coloured identity

20 November 2023 - 18:03
By Thango Ntwasa
Amapiano-pop sensation Tyla gets another international nod.
Image: Instagram/Tyla Amapiano-pop sensation Tyla gets another international nod.

South African muso Tyla has won international fans with her catchy beats and infectious personality. However, many misunderstand what her identity as a coloured woman means.

African-American audiences have taken to X sharing their frustrations with how the “coloured” identity was used to discriminate against black people in the US before desegregation.

With little understanding of what it means to be coloured in the South African context, we have put together a list of items you can watch, read or listen to for a better understanding of the complex realities of coloured people.

COLOURED MENTALITY

Coloured Mentality is an online platform created by Kelly-Eve Koopman and Sarah Summers, which engages in conversations about coloured identity in post-apartheid South Africa. The six-part series features local stars who weigh in on topics including the origins of Afrikaans and the racial classifications of coloured people.

COLOURED: HOW CLASSIFICATION BECAME A CULTURE

Tessa Dooms and Lynsey Ebony Chutel have written a book about coloured identity, 'Coloured: How Classification Became Culture', which has its roots in the police killing of Nathaniel Julies three years ago.
Image: Masi Losi Tessa Dooms and Lynsey Ebony Chutel have written a book about coloured identity, 'Coloured: How Classification Became Culture', which has its roots in the police killing of Nathaniel Julies three years ago.

Tessa Dooms and Lynsey Ebony Chutel's collaborative book delves into the history of coloured people and their lineage as indigenous Africans. The book was inspired by the death of Nathaniel Julies and the demonstrations afterwards. After a 702 radio interview, Dooms was approached to write a book on the topic and she tapped Chutel to co-author the project. The book breaks down the history of the coloured group and sheds light on their culture.

COLORED GIRLS ROCK

From Facebook to audio, Colored Girls Rock is the brainchild of Shantelle Engelbrecht who was looking to celebrate the successes of coloured women. Other than the community coming together to assist those in need, the podcast taps into a number of topics with guests including award-winning businesswoman Farah Fortune.