History has been central in the debates about the Rhodes statue and other legacies of his donation to Oriel College, University of Oxford. The protests by Rhodes Must Fall in 2015/6, renewed in 2020, helped to trigger challenging questions about the relationship between the past and the present and what action should be supported in the present. This appendix briefly explores some evidence about Rhodes as a historical figure. Rhodes’s legacy should be debated. Aside from his very public role in his life time, he quite deliberately set out to memorialise himself and his views, and this project was further pursued by his admirers and protagonists (Maylam, 2005). The Commission appointed by Oriel College requested that I examine evidence about aspects of Rhodes’s political impact. This is attached as an appendix under my own name. It is intended neither as a biography, nor as a summary of various constructive and destructive aspects of the career and personality of the ‘flawed colossus’ (Roberts, 1987). There is a huge volume of biographical work available, as well as an extensive literature on late nineteenth-century southern Africa. References used in this research are given at the end of this appendix.
Click here to read.
Disclaimer: Any views expressed by individuals and organisations are their own and do not in any way represent the views of The Heritage Portal.