June 27, 2013
MEDIA CONTACT: Jill Rosen
Johns Hopkins University sociologist Katherine S. Newman, whose recent research has focused on the first generation to come of age in a democratic South Africa, is available to discuss the legacy of anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela.
Newman’s upcoming book, After Freedom: The Rise of the Post-Apartheid Generation in Democratic South Africa, will be published in April 2014, the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s election. It focuses on the lives and perspectives of Cape Town residents of all racial and ethnic groups who were children when apartheid ended and are now in their late 20s and early 30s. Their adult lives have traversed the period in which the democratic institutions and political parties that dominate South Africa today were built.
“Nelson Mandela looms large as a hero to the South African nation,” says Newman, the James B. Knapp Dean of the Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences at Johns Hopkins, “revered for the sacrifices he endured during 27 years behind bars, his refusal to compromise on fundamental human rights, his iron clad belief in the ‘rainbow nation’ that would encourage all groups to remain in the country and build its democratic institutions.
“For the young people I have come to know during four years of fieldwork and analysis, he has been the very essence of dignity and integrity,” she says. “They measure every political figure who has followed him against Mandela’s very high standard and often find them lacking.”
Newman added, “They are looking with concern now toward those who must pick up the mantle of leadership and guide what is a country of enormous promise through a period of extreme inequality and catastrophic unemployment, especially in their generation. “
Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994 after spending 27 years in prison. Along with former South African President F. W. de Klerk, Mandela won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 for his work “for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa.”
Newman has written or co-authored 12 books, focusing much of her scholarly work on the lives of the working poor and mobility up and down the economic ladder. Her most recent book, The Accordion Family: Boomerang Kids, Anxious Parents and the Private Toll of Global Competition, was published in 2012.
To speak to Newman, contact Jill Rosen at 443-997-9906 (office), 443-547-8805 (cell) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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