Apartheid: Calibrations of Color
Apartheid: Calibrations of Color.
New York: Icarus/Rosen Publishing Group, 1991. $16.95,
Note: An assemblage of short stories, plays, photographs, and essays about South Africa. Selected as a 'Notable Book' by the African Studies Association's Children's Book Award Committee.
This assemblage of short stories, plays, photographs, and essays provides a penetrating and pithy look at South Africa. The book opens with Norma Kitson's "Masimba," a boisterous selection that ridicules South Africa's "homeland" policy. The book ends with "Don't Dance," a description of the founding and fortunes of "Shifty Records," a recording company that provides an outlet for banned music. Sandwiched between these two pieces are works that provide a representative sampling of the life experiences of the oppressed of South Africa. An additional and valuable contribution is Frank Brown's riveting account of the student divestment campaign at Columbia University. Also, Zoe Wicomb provides a look at the international dimensions of apartheid in her poignant,"In the Botanic Gardens." For historical balance there is Achmat Dangor's "Places of Stone." This short story examines social and economic relationships engendered by slavery. It explodes the myth of a "benign" slave system in colonial South Africa. This excellent volume should find wide-spread use in secondary schools.
||Grade: M H
Reviewed by: Brenda Randolph, Africa Access
Subject: South Africa / Literature / Apartheid / Southern Africa / CABA Honor