theme of kaffir boy
A police raid, described by Johannes (Mathabane's birthname), then only a boy of about five, clarifies the extent of the violence against blacks. Readers of Kaffir Boy who have not lived as a black person in apartheid South Africa cannot really feel that existence. The coach writes to colleges on his behalf, and Mathabane earns a tennis scholarship to Limestone College and leaves for the U.S. in 1978.[1]. Include a preface arguing the merits of the program for the college dean or the local school board. However, the terms are most frequently used to refer to the interaction with and influences of European nations upon non-European peoples and their countries. Use up and down arrows to review and enter to select. Larson believed that Kaffir Boy"might acquire the same status that Richard Wright's Black Boy or Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land had for earlier American readers." How does it work? How will he fare when the only way to keep from starving to death is to eat fried locusts and worms and a thick soup made from boiled cow's blood? "What television newscasts did to expose the horrors of the Vietnam War in the 1960s, books like Kaffir Boy may well do for the horrors of apartheid in the 1980s," she said. She also gives him an old tennis racket, initiating his involvement in the sport. "Now give me that knife," and he does. Consider the opposite scenario: take a child, nine or ten years old (or even younger), who has grown up in a relatively "normal" American household and put him in Mathabane's place. It is therefore not surprising that it would become the subject matter for a vast number of South African writers, both black and white. This page was last edited on 25 June 2020, at 23:09. Plot Summary Thomas, Lillian, New York Times Book Review, April 27, 1986, p. 23. How can a young individual shoulder so much pain and misery and still speak of dreams that have come true?". Mathabane joins the high school tennis team and begins to play in tournaments, unofficially sponsored by Wilfred Horn, owner of the Tennis Ranch. Having been denied an education because she is a female, Mathabane's mother goes to great sacrifice to ensure his getting one. But I've had so many dreams come true in my life.…" So many dreams come true ? The Mathabane home is made of thin materials that offer little protection against wind, rain, cold, or heat. Critical Overview His South African match with Jimmy Connors fuels Mathabane's dream of becoming a great tennis player. Even though Ashe loses the South African match to Connors, he provides Mathabane with evidence that blacks can succeed not only in the game of tennis but also in breaking long-standing racial barriers. "The fact that he willingly, without question or protest, submitted to the witch doctor's rituals made him a stranger to me," says Johannes. Another scene takes place in Mathabane's father's tribal homeland where the soil has been rendered so sterile from inefficient farming that Mathabane calls it a wasteland. For instance, in this raid, the elder Mathabane, who is guilty of several passbook offenses, is sent to labor on a white man's farm for two months. The Smith home has central heat and air, running water, and bedrooms in which no one sleeps. As Mathabane writes in his preface to Kaffir Boy, "They [the architects of apartheid] turned my father—by repeatedly arresting him and denying him the right to earn a living in a way that gave him dignity—into such a bitter man that, as he fiercely but in vain resisted the emasculation, he hurt those he loved the most." As Mathabane points out, despite the "threat of persecution and deportation if found, and the fact that Alexandra was being demolished," waves of men continue to arrive in the city. Tutu, Desmond Mpilo 1931– For many, the term "victim" connotes a helpless person that has become an object for some other Jackson Mathabane is arrested and imprisoned for being temporarily unemployed. I realized "that vices were bad things, to be avoided at all cost, for they bring one nothing but trouble and punishment.". What an outsider can do, however, is get as close to it as possible through the brutal, no-holds-barred autobiography of a young man who knew nothing else for the first eighteen years of his life. [5] The unrevised book is still used as high school reading material regardless of the controversial scenes. Its 1986 American publication came just a year after pressure from anti-apartheid groups led Congress to match Reagan's mild package of sanctions with a bill calling for a wide range of restrictions on American trade and investment in South Africa. Criticism As more and more natives fled to cities like Johannesburg in search of jobs, frightened white political leaders established apartheid, turning their already discriminatory practices into legal injustice. As a child, he lived in an unheated two-room shack where the children slept under the kitchen table on makeshift beds of newspaper and cardboard.


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