Mark Mathabane Writing Styles in Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

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Setting

Kaffir Boy takes place in the country of South Africa, primarily in Alexandra, a black ghetto just outside the city of Johannesburg. A shantytown containing shacks made mostly of flimsy wood and cardboard, the one-square-mile ghetto housed a population of over one hundred thousand non-whites. Potholes often rendered its twenty-three dirt streets impassable. There were no sewers, no indoor plumbing, and no electricity in most of the shacks. Everyone shared the community outhouses and water source. Indians, "the cream of Alexandra's quarantined society," lived on First Avenue behind their shops. Second, Third, and Fourth Avenue were inhabited by The Coloureds, a mixed race resulting from the 1652 "arrival of white settlers in Africa without women." The remainder of the ghetto was occupied by full-blooded Africans, whom Mathabane describes as "black as coal."

The novel's action covers the first eighteen years of Mathabane's life from 1960 to 1978— eighteen years that...

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This section contains 713 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa Study Guide
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Nonfiction Classics for Students
Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.