Miscegenation on stage

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Cohabitation, sexual relations, marriage, or interbreeding involving persons of different races, especially in historical contexts as a transgression of the law. (The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.)

Portrayals in literature

Miscegenation on stage in South Africa

Over the years numerous books, plays, films and the like have dealt with interracial relationships or "miscegenation". Initially these works related to social custom - e.g. ** and ***. However, with the 1948 election vistory of the Nationalist Party and the coming of formal Apartheid, a number of laws forbidding such relationships were promulgated. Among them are the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act first promulgated in 19** and had grown out of the ***** act of 19** . This act was one of the cornerstones of Apartheid and specifically forbade marriages between persons of different race groups. It was finally repealed in June 1985. The law was heavily enforced, particularly in terms of "European or white" and "non-European or non-white" marriages. This went hand in hand with the so called Immorality Act of 19**, which forbad all sexual encounters between race groups, legal or illicit, and was equally viciously applied. This was also repealed in ??June 1985??.

The two acts were a widely used subject in South African writing after 195*, and the the subject of numerous plays on miscegenation over the years, notably in a series of plays produced during the pivotal years in the run-up to the declaration of the South African Republic (1958 to 1961), and the highly charged protest plays that emerged during the cultural struggle of the nineteen-seventies and -eighties.

Notable plays in the earlier period are The Kimberley Train (Sowden, 1958), Try for White (Warner, 1959) , Die Verminktes (The Maimed, Smit, 1960/61), The Blood Knot (Fugard, 1961). Try for White became the basis of perhaps the best known film on the subject: Katrina.

In the 1970-1990 period attitudes towards miscegenous relationships became more complex and ambiguous, as one may see from plays such as Bloedlyn (Hauptfleisch, 1970/1974), Statements (Fugard, 1972), Kanna hy kô Hystoe (Small, 1972)

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