News & events


Dennis Brutus – The South African Years

30 August 2020
17:00 - 20:00

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Date: 30 August 2020

Time: 17:00 – 20:00

Livestream via Zoom

Dr Jacob Dlamini, Assistant Professor of History at Princeton University
Dr Tyrone August, Stellenbosch university, Research Fellow
Dr Greg Houston (Chair), HSRC, Chief Research Specialist

Brutus (1924-2009) wrote poetry of the most exquisite lyrical beauty and intense power. And through his various political activities, he played a uniquely significant role in mobilising opposition to injustice and oppression – initially in South Africa, but later throughout the rest of the world.

The book places his own voice at the centre of his life story. It is told primarily in his own words – through newspaper and journal articles, tape recordings, interviews, speeches, court records and correspondence. In particular, it draws on archival material not yet available in the public domain and on new interviews with people who interacted with Brutus during his early years in South Africa. The book examines his participation in some of the most influential organisations of his time, including the Teachers’ League of South Africa, the Anti-Coloured Affairs Department movement and the Coloured National Convention, as well as the South African Sports Association and the South African Non-Racial Olympic Committee, which campaigned against racism in South African sport.

Brutus left behind an important legacy in literature, education, sport, community affairs and politics.

Register in advance for this seminar and book launch: or RSVP to Arlene Grossberg | E-mail: by 30 August

This seminar is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please also note that this seminar may be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel.