At Heathfield High School last week, former pupil and now author, Dr Ruben Richards, handed over 400 copies of his book Bastaards or Humans - the unspoken heritage of coloured people (Vol 1), with education MEC Debbie Schäfer present to thank Richards and his foundation for the donation.
The book attempts to explain why and how the once proud indigenous owners of the land and its resources were relegated to the margins of history.
Schäfer said it had been described as a “brave endeavour in a country that only knows racism and the bastardisation of coloured identity and its indigenous Khoisan heritage. It is a story that undoes the limiting view of South Africa’s narrative as a struggle between white and black.”
Schäfer conceded that the history curriculum has not been inclusive enough of South Africa’s diverse heritage.
“It is important that we learn the whole history of our country so we can heal and move forward.
“The book goes a long way in doing this, and I hope it will make a positive contribution to schools across the Western Cape,” she said.
The department supported the integration of the work into the history curriculum, she added, and the Education Library and Information Service branch would be distributing the books to high schools across the province.
“I wholeheartedly thank Dr Richards and his foundation for their generous donation of this valuable resource to our schools.
“I hope it also serves as an inspiration of what can be achieved by our pupils”.
Heathfield High School acting principal Wesley Neuman said the book was a “treasure chest”.