While finishing this dissertation, I had the immense pleasure of working on a collective intellectual and curatorial project that greatly enriched my thinking and writing, the series and art exhibition at New College and the Justina M. I wish to dedicate this thesis to my closest collaborators of this past year: Hillina Seife, Tejpal S. Thank you, once more, for your inspiring friendship and peerless intellectual Table of Contents Introduction Racial Consciousness and the Boundaries of Diaspora 2Organization and Chapter Summaries 6Sources, Language, and Racial Terminology 12Chapter I Political Economy, Stereotype, and Urban Space Introduction 20The Intersection of Space and Stereotype 25Stages of Urbanization 33Grey Street and the “Indian” Store 39Landlords and Housing 44Sites Moving through Space: Buses 48Other Sites: Bioscopes and Employers 52Relationships and the Complexities of the Everyday 58Chapter II African Nationalism and the Indian Diaspora, 1945-1949 Introduction 62Post-War Changes in the ANC and Indian Congresses 67The NEUM, Xuma, and the Communist Party 74The Passive Resistance Campaign and the United Nations 79The Xuma-Dadoo-Naicker Pact 85Backlash in the Natal ANC: The Ambiguities of Dependence 89Backlash in the ANC: African Nationalism 94Conclusion: An Irresolute Culmination 102Chapter III The 1949 Anti-Indian Pogrom and the Crisis in the Natal ANC Introduction 106India on the World’s Stage 111The 1949 Anti-Indian Pogrom 116Initial Responses 123The Debate between 128The Crisis in the Natal ANC 135The Vicissitudes of A. Indeed the retail trade in native goods is almost wholly in their hands, to the chagrin and grief of European merchants.
Both Arabs and Indians are regarded by many as a curse, but how to get rid of them is a question.
As a result, Natal’s African/Indian racial dynamic plays, at most, a secondary role in most scholarship on the region.
Thus there will be an Asiatic as well as African problem to be settled some day in this part of the world.2””Josephine Hadebe, Domestic Worker, Durban, 1981.
The origins of Natal’s distinct racial politics lie, ultimately, in its 19th century history as a British settler colony on the southeastern edge of the Indian Ocean.3 In the early decades of European presence, the still formidable armies of the Zulu kingdom provided a significant check on military expansion and most Africans within the colony maintained access to arable land.
Kate Elizabeth Creasey, my incredible and dedicated partner, was an endless source of resilience, critical feedback, and practical assistance.
I would like to express my gratitude to the staffs at the University of Chicago Special Collections Research Center; the William Cullen Library at University of the Witwatersrand; and the Killie Campbell Africana Library, Durban.
Beginning in the 1940s, tumultuous debates among black intellectuals over the place of the Indian diaspora in Africa played a central role in the emergence of new and antagonistic conceptualizations of a South African nation.