The classic story of life in apartheid South Africa.
Mark Mathabane was weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa’s most desperate ghetto, where bloody gang wars and midnight police raids were his rites of passage. Like every other child born in the hopelessness of apartheid, he learned to measure his life in days, not years. Yet Mark Mathabane, armed only with the courage of his family and a hard-won education, raised himself up from the squalor and humiliation to win a scholarship to an American university.
This extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid is a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation, for Mark Mathabane did what no physically and psychologically battered “Kaffir” from the rat-infested alleys of Alexandra was supposed to do - he escaped to tell about it.
Mark Mathabane was born and raised in the ghetto of Alexandra in South Africa. He is the author of Kaffir Boy, Kaffir Boy in America, Love in Black and White, African Women: Three Generations, Miriam’s Song, and The Proud Liberal. He lectures at schools and colleges nationwide on race relations, education, and our common humanity. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.
“Like…Claude Brown’s Manchild in the Promised Land.… In every way as important and exciting.” (Washington Post)
“This is a rare look inside the festering adobe shanties of Alexandra, one of South Africa’s notorious black townships. Rare because it comes…from the heart of a passionate young African who grew up there.” (Chicago Tribune)
“In this powerful account of growing up black in South Africa, a young writer makes us feel intensely the horrors of apartheid.” (Publishers Weekly)
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