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UKZN Press

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Vanessa Noble Examines Durban’s Medical School and the Education of Black Doctors in A School of Struggle

A School of StruggleNew from UKZN Press, A School of Struggle: Durban’s Medical School and the Education of Black Doctors in South Africa by Vanessa Noble:

Durban’s medical school has left an indelible mark on South African history and society. Although not the first institution to train black doctors in South Africa, it was the first to successfully provide a full biomedical training for black students as its primary mandate, and in the process, laid the foundation of the black medical profession.

During a time of repression and political unrest it also offered students an education in politics and activism. Alumni – among them Steve Biko, Jerry Coovadia, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Malegapuru Makgoba, Zweli Mkhize and Mamphela Ramphele – went out from here to change the medical landscape, make history and set the tone of public life.

Based on valuable original oral histories and a sensitive interrogation of archival sources, this book presents a detailed history of the school from the 1950s to our post-apartheid present. It tells of the school’s many successes and of the tensions and contradictions which played out within and around it.

A School of Struggle offers insightful portraits of the school’s pioneers and focuses poignantly on students struggling to overcome prejudice, structural hardships and discrimination to improve their lives, their institution and society.

“It is an excellent book which tells an important and as yet untold history.” — Simonne Horwitz, Department of History, University of Saskatchewan

About the author

Vanessa Noble lectures history at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Her research focuses on the history of health and healing in Africa with a particular interest in biomedicine. This is her first book.

Book details


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