Study Guide

Kaffir Boy Chapter 24

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Chapter 24

  • Education still confuses Mark. He wonders what he's being educated for, especially when he hears Africans say that the white people are only educating blacks to be their slaves.
  • Papa tells Mark that a man who can't read but can feed his family is a million times better than a man who can read but can't feed his family. He continues making similar statements each week.
  • Three years after starting school, Mark starts to get bored with it. And he couldn't find people in his life who had benefited from education.
  • One day, he hears a commotion in the streets. People are chanting "ALI ALI ALI" downstairs, celebrating Ali Muhammad's historic victory against a white boxer, Schmeling.
  • People chanted Ali's name throughout the following week, everywhere Mark goes.
  • Mark begins to dream of being a boxer. But when he goes to the local boxing club, he soon gives up the dream. The gym owner puts Mark in the ring, and urges somebody to step up and fight him. Mark protests that he's not a boxer and the man tells him not to be a sissy.
  • Mark's opponent is large and muscular.
  • The gym owner tells Mark he's Ali and the other boy will be Schmeling. He then tells the two boys to shake hands and Mark catches the other boy on the jaw.
  • The man stops them and tells Mark that you don't start hitting on the command to shake hands. But then he tells them to continue boxing and Mark is hit so hard, he crashes into the wall of people standing behind him. They push him back and Mark continues trying to hit his opponent, but missing. The crowd chants, "KILL HIM."
  • As the opponent starts beating Mark up, Mark pleads for him to stop, and the gym owner tells him to pretend he didn't hear.
  • The opponent keeps hitting him until Mark is knocked out.
  • When he comes to, the gym owner asks him if he'll come back tomorrow. He says Mark has potential.
  • "To hell with Ali," Mark tells himself as he leaves (24.68).

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