Untold stories of a group of black South Africans about the apartheid era
Van der Merwe, Ernst Jan
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The aim of this research was to explore the alternative stories of a group of black adults who survived the apartheid years in South Africa. In common parlance it is held that there are two sides to a story and surely, there must have been alternative stories of how people in the black community survived the apartheid years, other than only the dominant stories of suffering that came to the fore during the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) hearings. It was surmised that the lives of many of the black adults, who experienced the atrocities of the apartheid years, might have been shaped by the dominant stories of hardship and that alternative stories of survival may not have played the important role in the shaping of their lives, that they should have played. The motivation for this research is that the data that were elicited may lead to further research and the possible planning of programmes to help people that experienced the atrocities during the apartheid era to incorporate their alternative stories of survival with their dominant stories of suffering. Fifteen black participants, aged thirty-seven and older participated in the research project. A qualitative research design, more specifically narrative analysis, was used in the form of the categorical-content approach. Two methods were used to obtain data, namely a question in the biographical questionnaire, as well as an unstructured individual interview with the participants. Analysis of the data yielded eight prevalent themes, namely support, religion, role models, education, the struggle, culture, positive experiences facilitated hope, and acceptance. Results indicated that the eight themes are closely linked Suggestions for future research projects were made.
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