iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for A Rainbow Nation, a Rainbow World?

Listen now 44 mins

Listen in pop-out player

A Rainbow Nation, a Rainbow World?

44 minutes
First broadcast:
Saturday 14 December 2013

The idea of freedom for all, regardless of their ethnic background, has been the guiding principle of South Africa ever since Nelson Mandela was released from prison two decades ago. So how close is the new South Africa to accomplishing that ideal? How much have we really progressed globally in our attitudes to racism? And, where has the idea of separate human races come from in the first place? Bridget Kendall discusses the global history of racism and its likely future with historian Francisco Bethencourt, former South African MP and equality campaigner Pregs Govender, evolutionary biologist Jonathan Marks, Soweto-born writer Niq Mhlongo and Helene Neveu-Kringelbach, an anthropologist who researches interracial marriage.


2 items
  • Francisco Bethencourt

    Francisco Bethencourt photo c/o Francisco Bethencourt

    Francisco Bethencourt is the Charles Boxer Professor of History at King’s College, London, and a leading authority on the history of the Portuguese-speaking world. He is the author of The Inquisition, and has co-edited Portuguese Oceanic Expansion, and Racism and Ethnic Relations in the Portuguese-Speaking World. His latest book is Racisms: from the Crusades to the Twentieth century.

  • Pregs Govender

    Pregs Govender c/o Pregs Govender

    An activist against Apartheid since 1974, Pregs Govender was elected to the National Assembly in South Africa’s first democratic election. She was then elected Chairperson of Parliament’s Committee on Women.  After being the only MP to register opposition to the arms deal in the Defence Budget Vote, Pregs resigned in 2002.  In November 2008, Parliament voted unanimously for her appointment to South Africa Human Rights Commission where she is the Deputy Chairperson.

  • Jonathan Marks

    Jon Marks photo c/o Jon Marks

    Jonathan Marks is Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and currently Templeton Fellow at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. His primary interest lies at the intersection of anthropology, evolution, and genetics. He is the author of several books, including Human Biodiversity (1995), What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee (2002), and Why I am Not a Scientist (2009).

  • Niq Mhlongo

    Niq Mhlongo by Lisa Skinner

    Niq Mhlongo is Soweto-born writer and a leading voice of the kwaito  generation in South African fiction. His first novel, Dog Eat Dog, published in 2004, was translated into Spanish  and Italian, with the Spanish edition awarded the Mar des Lettras prize. His second novel After Tears, and his third, Way Back Home, have also been published in other languages.  [Photo by Lisa Skinner]

  • Helene Neveu Kringelbach

    Helene Neveu Kringelbach photo c/o Helene Neveu Kringelbach

    Hélène is a Senegalese-French anthropologist at the Africa Studies Centre at Oxford University who is currently a visiting professor at UCLA She is currently research on Euro-Senegalese families in France, the UK and Senegal. With a focus on bi-national families involving a Senegalese and a European partner as a case study, this project aims at exploring processes of family-making in a diasporic context, from a gendered and cross-generational perspective.

  • In Next Weeks’ Programme

    Is it better give or to receive? Quentin Cooper brings together three guests to discuss gifts and giving: Harry Liebersohn, Professor of History at the University of Illinois, Barry Tomalin, specialist in international and cultural communication, and Jamaican poet Laura Goodison.



Featured in...

  • Nelson Mandela

    A selection of Nelson Mandela programmes from the BBC World Service archive

Free downloads

  1. Image for Forum - A World of Ideas

    Forum - A World of Ideas

    The world's most remarkable minds tackle a big idea. Podcast weekly on Saturdays.

  2. Image for Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World

    Forum - Sixty Second Idea to Improve the World

    An imaginative, quirky solution to a challenge of our age. Podcast weekly on Saturdays.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss