Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type

Senior Honors Thesis

Degree Name



Pan-African Studies

Author's Keywords

District Six; Cape Town; Cape Liberalism; Race Formation; Group Areas Act; District Six Removal


Historically, the "Coloured" identity within Cape Town, South Africa was used as an umbrella term to include all the cultures residing within the city that were not either European, or of South Africa's native Bantu speaking groups. However, the identity seemingly has now shifted to primarily refer to multi-racial people. However, if the Coloured identity was initially created as a catch- all phrase, then what shifted the term to now address those who are of multi- racial descent? This essay examines the progression of the Coloured identity within Cape Town society by tracking the rise and fall of Cape Town's District Six neighborhood as a Coloured community.

Lay Summary

In exploring Coloured identity, the essay will follow British and Afrikaner governmental reports pertaining to the classification of Coloureds. In addition, first person accounts by Coloured South Africans will reveal the transition of the Coloured identity spanning from the emancipation of Cape slavery in 1834 until the forced removals from District Six in 1980.