Race in South Africa: A hidden transcript turned public? THE PROBLEM OF IDENTIFYING WITH ESTHER / MORDECAI OR HAMAN IN THE BOOK OF ESTHER

Gerrie Snyman

Abstract


Based on two grass roots readings of Esther 9 in terms of violence and power, the
author discusses the issue of race, identity and power. His entry point is based on
the notions of public and hidden transcripts as developed by James Scott’s book
Domination and the arts of resistance. Hidden transcripts (1990). The article
explains the current South African public transcript in terms of racialisation,
reconciliation and the problematisation of whiteness. It then looks into aspects of
identity in the Book of Esther, exploring the problem of reading the Bible in terms of
race. It concludes that because the negative use of race constructs the public
transcript at the moment, its construction can also be observed in the current Bible
reading process at grass roots level. It is a transcript of superiority over those
whose existence is moulded along Western cultural lines, the perpetrators of the
former regime.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/84-0-873

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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