Diamonds in the Rough: Corporate Paternalism and African by Todd Cleveland

By Todd Cleveland

“This meticulous research is a needs to learn for students and graduate scholars attracted to African exertions historical past and Portuguese colonialism. people with an curiosity in (di- amond) mining will remove up to these examining for info on compelled exertions or at the interaction among the Portuguese colonial kingdom and concessional businesses. besides the fact that, these prepared to benefit concerning the wealthy texture of employees’ reviews, either on and o the mine, stand to realize the most.” —H-Net

Diamonds within the Rough explores the lives of African workers on Angola’s diamond mines from the graduation of operations in 1917 to the colony’s independence from Portugal in 1975. The mines have been owned and operated through the Diamond corporation of Angola, or Diamang, which loved particular mining and hard work concessions granted by way of the colonial executive. via those monopolies, the corporate turned the main ecocnomic company in Portugal’s African empire. After a tumultuous preliminary interval, the company’s mines and mining encampments skilled a striking measure of balance, in extraordinary distinction to the hard work unrest and ethnic conflicts that flared in different areas. Even in the course of the Angolan struggle for independence (1961–75), Diamang’s area of impact remained relatively untroubled.

Todd Cleveland explains that this exceptional point of quietude used to be a fabricated from 3 elements: African employees’ excessive degrees of social and occupational dedication, or “professionalism”; the intense isolation of the mining installations; and efforts by way of Diamang to draw and keep scarce employees via a calculated paternalism. The company’s provide of respectable lodgings and leisure actions, in addition to the presence of ladies and kids, brought on reciprocal habit at the a part of the miners, a professionalism that pervaded either the social and the place of work environments. This disparity among the harshness of the colonial hard work regime somewhere else and the particularly agreeable stipulations and attendant professionalism of staff at Diamang opens up new methods of pondering how Africans in colonial contexts engaged with pressured exertions, mining capital, and eventually, every one other.

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