Day 21, NaBloPoMo: Kaffir Boy

Title: Kaffir Boy
Author: Mark Mathabane
Genre: Autobiography
Publication Date: 1986
[First Read] | [Reread]


Kaffir Boy is an extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid and triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation.

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.

Why I want to Read It:

I can’t really say that this is a want to read because I don’t usually read autobiographies. Kaffir Boy has been recommended to me on more than one occasion by various people over the years, so I figure I should read it.

Why banned or challenged?

It has been banned and challenged because of a two paragraph scene that depicts child prostitution between young street boys and adult migrant workers. The most recent challenge I could find was in 2011 at the San Luis Obispo High School in California. The challenge was made because the book has a graphic sexual assault passage.


Let's Exercise our Freedom & Discuss Banned Books

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