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'Kaffir Boy' author lectures at Bates

Mark Mathabane, whose best-selling book Kaffir Boy detailed his growing up black in apartheid-era South Africa, speaks at Bates College at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, in the Muskie Archives, 70 Campus Avenue. The event, sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the College, is free and open to the public. Born in the Johannesburg ghetto of Alexandra, Mathabane escaped the grip of apartheid in 1978, at age 18, when American tennis player Stan Smith arranged for him to study at an American college on a tennis scholarship. He graduated cum laude with an economics degree from Dowling College, in New York.

Author of several non-fiction books and novels, Mathabane may be best-known for Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa (1986) and Kaffir Boy in America: An Encounter With Apartheid (1989), which addressed racism in America. The first Kaffir Boy has been translated into a number of languages and is frequently used in the classroom.

Mathabane publishes often in national newspapers and is active on the lecture circuit.



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