Mark Mathabane Essay

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Mark Mathabane: The South African-American
From the ghettos of apartheid South Africa to a very big political status in America, Mark Mathabane made his way from the bottom to the top. Mathabane got so well known that he was even invited to an episode of Oprah Winfrey’s TV show. Mathabane broke the barrier for many black South Africans. The odds that were stacked against Mathabane were high, but that did not waver his confidence. Being born in South Africa as a black male had already put him at a disadvantage with his environment. In his early life Mathabane lived with his family in the Bantu Ghetto in extreme poverty, brutality, and hunger ( “ Mark Mathabane” 1). As a child nothing scared him more than a white man because of the way they treated black
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When Mathabane finally made it to America he transfered many colleges before landing in Dowling College. Mathabane graduated from that same college in 1983. After he graduated he wrote Kaffir Boy to show his frustration of his native country. Mathabane also got help from the love of his life for that book; they married in 1986 ( “Mark Mathabane” 2 ). After Mathabane wrote Kaffir Boy he gained tons of attention from the media. Mathabane wrote a sequel to Kaffir Boy called Kaffir Boy in America , this was not well received by the African-American community. “ His marriage to a white woman only increased African-American’s ambivalence to Mathabane’s ideas.” Mathabane wrote many more books, but none got as much attention as Kaffir Boy and Kaffir Boy in America. Mark Mathabane broke from the very tough chains that the South African environment put to his race. Mathabane said after writing his book Kaffir Boy, “... I wanted to channel my rage into a human story with which I could make appeal to people’s hearts. Mark Mathabane is a true inspiration to many black South Africans still to this
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