Teacher and Comrade

Richard Dudley and the Fight for Democracy in South Africa

By Alan Wieder

Subjects: Social Context Of Education, Biography, Foundations Of Education, African Studies, Comparative Education, History Of Education
Paperback : 9780791474303, 181 pages, March 2008
Hardcover : 9780791474297, 181 pages, March 2008

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Table of contents


1. Introduction: Before Dudley: Oppression, Racism, and the Roots of Resistance

2. Childhood and Youth: Learning Books, Learning Nonracialism

3. Education and Politics: Lessons for Teaching and Struggle

4. Becoming a Teacher, Becoming a Comrade: Pre-Apartheid Years

5. Education for Democracy I: The Early Years of Apartheid Through Sharpeville

6. Education for Democracy II: From Bannings to Soweto

7. Education for (Liberation) before Education: Teaching and Politics in the Struggle Years

8. Reflecting on Reflections: Conclusions and Considerations of the Present Sources


A biographical/narrative study of oppression, racism, and resistance in twentieth-century South Africa through the life of Richard Dudley, a teacher/politico.


Teacher and Comrade explores South African resistance in the twentieth century, before and during apartheid, through the life of Richard Dudley, a teacher/politico who spent thirty-nine years in the classroom and his entire life fighting for democracy. Dudley has given his life to teaching and politics, and touched and influenced many people who continue to work for democracy in South Africa and abroad. Whether it was students, comrades, or opposition, life was always teaching and relational for Dudley. He challenged power throughout the apartheid era, and his foundational beliefs in anti-imperialism and nonracialism compel him to continue to talk, teach, and speak to power. Through Dudley's story, Teacher and Comrade provides a rare portrait of both Cape Town and South Africa, as well as the struggle against racism and apartheid.

Alan Wieder is Professor and Chair of Educational Studies at the University of South Carolina. He is the author of Voices from Cape Town Classrooms: Oral Histories of Teachers Who Fought Apartheid and Race and Education: Narrative Essays, Oral Histories, and Documentary Photography.


"…the book has filled an important gap in South Africa's intellectual history. " — African Studies Review

"This volume is incredibly relevant for American teachers and teacher unionists. The struggles, failures, and triumphs of Dudley and his comrades are instructive for American teachers and political activists. " — Wayne J. Urban, author of Black Scholar: Horace Mann Bond, 1904–1972