Interrogating Sartre and Apartheid

in Sartre Studies International
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  • 1 Department of Research Administration and Development, University of Limpopo, South Africa
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In an important article published last year (2020), Tal Sela asserts that Sartre's contributions to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa throughout the 1960s are overblown and overestimated. Sartre was motivated, Sela argues, by a desire for self-aggrandizement rather than by any genuine concern for the victims of apartheid racism. This article refutes those claims. In countering Sela's arguments, I revisit in detail Sartre's interventions denouncing the phenomenon of apartheid and establish the importance of Sartre's tireless struggle against racism to highlight the force of his opposition to South Africa's infamous policy and his equally firm commitment to freedom both in his philosophy and personal life.

Contributor Notes

Mabogo P. More has published widely on Sartre, Steve Biko, Africana existentialism, and the anti-apartheid struggle. He is affiliated with the University of Limpopo, Department of Research Administration and Development, Republic of South Africa. His previous books include: Biko: Philosophy, Identity and Liberation (2017) and Looking through Philosophy in Black: Memoirs (2018).

Sartre Studies International

An Interdisciplinary Journal of Existentialism and Contemporary Culture