Kaffir Boy is the story of a young South African tennis player living under the restrictions of apartheid. He ends up going the self-preservation route instead of rebelling against the system. Do you think this was a good decision? Shmoop amongst yourselves.
|American Literature||All American Literature|
|Author||Mathabane - Mark Mathabane|
Tradition and Customs
. . .but there were a few roadblocks along the way.
Instead of banding with other black athletes. . .
. . .and boycotting events to protest the inclusion of blacks just in the interest of
making white owners seem progressive. . .
. . .he decided to play on. . .
. . .which only got him kicked out of the black tennis association for life.
So, if there’s strength in numbers. . .
. . .and it’s easier to follow the crowd. . .
. . .why did Mark decide to keep playing? Maybe he thought he could lead the way. . .
. . .kind of like a South African Jackie Robinson.
He might have thought his connections. . .
. . .and talent. . .
. . .would be enough to move the cause along for everyone.
If he could prove how good he was, then maybe it would pave the way for others to follow
in his footsteps… But maybe selflessness had nothing to do with
it. Maybe Mark knew this was his shot. . .
. . .and knew he had to look out for his own best interests. . .
. . .whatever the cost. You can’t blame the guy for wanting to get
out of a horrible situation. . .
. . .even if it meant leaving others in the dust.
And getting that scholarship in the U.S. had to be a powerful motivator.
But let’s remember that things were pretty tense in South Africa.
Maybe Mark just didn’t want to get caught up in a “black against white” fight.
Could be he thought that holding a grudge would only slow him down. . .
. . .or worse yet, keep him from ever getting out of South Africa. . .
. . .and he just wanted to forget about politics and play tennis.
So what’s your call? Did Mark strike out on his own to be a leader.
. . .to look out for himself. . .
. . .or to break away from all that political turmoil?
Shmoop amongst yourselves.