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Publisher's Summary

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.
©1986 Mark Mathabane (P)2012 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

“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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Customer Reviews

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By ARM on 10-07-16

Tragic yet we'll written

this is the most difficult review I've had to write. it was not easy to accompany the author through the horrors of his own childhood; the seemingly insurmountable obstacles he and his family faced; his persistence; his eventual success and yet the sacrifice of having to leave his family behind knowing the conditions they had to face in order to pursue his dream. Saddest of all, it's another example of man's inhumanity to man; and yet I couldn't stop reading it. My compliments to Mark for having the courage to re live the nightmares onto paper.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Makgale on 08-13-16

Wonderful read.

All young South Africans regardless of race need to read this book to provide a context for the events and affairs of the country and people at large.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Trish on 06-16-15

One of the most inspirational books ever, I was gripped to the very end,

Mark, by reading his own story, gives this book so much passion and authenticity. A great insight into life during the apartheid era! My heart broke for him and his whole family, and for all those who had their freedom and humanity stripped from them, both then and now. Thank you Mark x

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Sugar on 11-04-17

amazing must listin

lovely, amazing book about first hand account of living in south africa as a black family in the 80s

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Customer Reviews

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By Anonymous User on 10-12-17

Wonderful!

Moving and heartwarming story of a boy against all the odds. An insightful illustration of the true evil of Apartheid and what black people had to endure.
Mark Mathabane is my hero! Would love to know how all his family are now. A sequel after so many years would be wonderful.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Penny Elverd on 09-27-15

brilliant story well written and spoken. remarkabl

A brilliant story. Mark you are a remarkable man to have lived through this struggle.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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