Racism And Black Life In Mark Mathabane's Kaffir Boy

Mark Mathabane experiences with situations, built up more encouragement to keep him going and get him to the point of success. In Kaffir Boy an autobiography by Mark Mathabane, Mark is born into a South African family during the apartheid years. In the time period of his childhood, he witnesses violence suffers from hunger and learns not only to hate whites but fear them. Mathabane demonstrates that black South Africans have to work twice as hard as white South Africans through spending a whole day to get a birth certificate, unable to participate in tournaments, and incapable of attending college outside of South Africa.

One reason Mathabane shows that Black South Africans work twice as hard as White South Africans is through Mark waiting a whole day to get his birth certificate. Mathabane and his mom spent hours at the superintendent’s office to get Mark a birth certificate to enroll into school. Even after a whole day of waiting, the baas couldn’t see them because he went out for lunch and never came back.

As the black policeman locks up the office he replies to Mark’s mom and says, I told you before that the baas wants to go home, and there is nothing I can do about it(Mathabane 112). This shows that even though the policeman knew Mathabane and his mom spent many hours in the superintendent’s office, he didn’t bother to let one more person in to see the baas right before he heads out.

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A couple of days after, they went back to the superintendent’s office. As they wait, the baas thought Mark was a bastard because they don’t have any papers that show that he was born in Alexandra. He asked them where are the papers that prove that he is born in Alexandra. Mark’s mom replies, But I went to the clinic, mei makulu baas,mother said, and they refused to give me the papers until I bring them papers from here(Mathabane 116). The baas wants Mark’s mom to go back to the clinic to get the papers that they aren’t allowing her to get until she gets the papers from the office. This shows that the baas want them to go back and force to get papers that the wouldn’t be able to get.

Another reason Mathabane demonstrates that Black South Africans work twice as hard as White South Africans is through Mark unable to participate in tournaments. Whites ban blacks from joining the SAB open because of their color. As it explains, Black tennis officials refused to release players to take part in the SAB Open, insisting that the former pledge take immediate steps to interrogate tennis at all levels(Mathabane 299). Mark couldn’t participate in a tennis tournament, just because of his color. Whites not only manage to discriminate them, but they made sure of letting them know that they do not fit in. As Mark walks in the stadium he describes, They only gave me cold stares and muttered traitorand Uncle Tomunder their breaths. It hurt(Mathabane 304). Even though Mark is going to get a ban from playing black tennis for life. He still goes out and plays against the white player. People made him feel unwelcome and a traitor to the blacks.

Lastly, Mathabane shows that Black South Africans work twice as hard as White South Africans are through incapable of attending college outside of South Africa. Mark practices tennis on the daily, watches recordings and does everything to improve his skills. All that hard work paid off for him to at least get letters back from schools black people can dream of. As Mark reads the first letter from USC, Unfortunately U.S.C. has given out all of its tennis scholarships. But I’m in Georgia now, at the NCAA tennis championships, and I have contacted coaches from various schools across the country on your behalf(Mathaban 338). Mark did not receive a full ride to America but just the thought of getting accepted to a college out of South Africa was even a grown-ups dream. As Mark opens and continues reading the second letter from Princeton, Princeton doesn’t give out athletic scholarships, but many of our tennis players receive financial aid based on need(Mathabane 338). Blacks couldn’t even afford food or shelter but Mark worked for these somewhat scholarships and got to view the white world. His dream of living and attending school in America came true because of his passion to succeed.

Throughout the story, Mathabane helps show it is a struggle for Black South Africans to adapt to a life that is much harder than a white South African through waiting hours to a birth certificate for school, incapable to participate in tournaments, and unable to attend college outside of South Africa. This shows the raw truthful pain Mark must go through and educates us about the importance of the struggles of others.

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Racism And Black Life In Mark Mathabane's Kaffir Boy. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/racism-and-black-life-in-mark-mathabane-s-kaffir-boy/

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