Curriculating from the Black Archive – Marginality as novelty
Cover of Vol 8 No 1 issue of CriSTaL

How to Cite

Kumalo, S. H. (2020). Curriculating from the Black Archive – Marginality as novelty. Critical Studies in Teaching and Learning (CriSTaL), 8(1), 111-132.


The Black Archive is constitutive of works of literato such as JT Jabavu, Nontsizi Mgqwetho, the artist Gerard Bhengu, and musicians like Busi Mhlongo. This collective resource, which should play a crucial role in curriculating, compels us to consider two questions when rethinking Philosophy curricula: First, pedagogically, how does the epistemic access that the Black Archive affords our context facilitate justice? Second, and importantly, how does it help up in achieving justice? I, here, answer these questions in three moves. First, I consider certain key propositions; namely that decolonisation facilitates epistemic access, and that epistemic access in turn facilitates justice (historical, epistemic, and social). Second, I demonstrate how these propositions require the Black Archive (in South Africa) in order to be held as valid. I demonstrate this claim in Philosophy using Dumile Feni’s African Guernica, and in Curriculum Studies, through analysing W. W. Gqoba’s Ingxoxo Enkulu Ngemfundo. I conclude by prescriptively outlining uses for/of the Black Archive, guarding against misappropriations that derail justice as I treat it, safeguarding this corpus from epistemic arrogance that maintains that knowledge is valid only insofar as it is developed by white scholars.
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