Apartheid Experiences of Black African’s in Alex Laguma’s A Walk in the Night And Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom
This work was on the Apartheid Experiences of Black African’s in Alex Laguma’s A Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom. The work revealed the persecutions, exploitation and the pains the blacks went through in South Africa. The study aimed at examining the cruelty of Apartheid laws on the blacks in South African. This indeed was an established fact that wickedness was at high place during apartheid era. In 1953, the education segregation law was passed stating that the non-whites who were considered as the subordinate people should not have access to quality education. Young men who, because of their situation in life, lack of opportunity and colour have been prevented from achieving anything progressive and from achieving any ambitions. The majority of the native (non-whites) were treated differently from whites. They were forced to live in different areas, go to separate store, churches, work and hospital. The Blacks were hot allowed to interact with the whites. We thank God for people like Alex La Guma, Nelson Mandela etc. who stood their ground to deliver South Africans from the bondage of apartheid.
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
Apartheid, on Afrikaans word meaning “A state of being apart” was a system of racial segregation in South Africa, enforced through legislation by the national party (NP) Government, which was the ruling party in South Africa from 1949-1990.
Apartheid had decimate effects not only on the blacks but anyone classified as non-whites in South Africa. Racial segregation has been for centuries but the new policy started in 1948 which was sticken and more systematic.
This policy did not leave any aspect of social life untouched. During this time, existing pass laws were also strengthened. This law required non-whites to carry document to authorize their presence in some areas that were restricted. This experience was so formidable as blacks were to present “a pass” before they could walk freely on the road. Infact, a black man with a pass reported by Fuyard in Sigwe Bansi is Dead was better than to exist without a “pass” for a life without a pass was worst than dead itself.
In 1953, the Education segregation law was passed stating that the non-whites who were considered as the subordinate people shouldn’t have access to quality education.
Blacks were corralled into township, if they could get jobs in the city. If not, their urban shacks often were bulldozed and they were forcibly moved to unproductive “homelands”. This was at the heart of the policy of Apartheid or “separateness”.
Young men who, because of their situation in life, lack of opportunity and colour have been prevented from achieving anything progressive and from achieving any ambitions.
The purpose of the South African Apartheid laws was to force the black community not to mingle with the white community. This ensured that they had to live in separate neighbourhoods, use separate public transport, medical care, public beaches. It also included the prohibition of marriage between whites and non-whites. The Apartheid Experiences of Black African’s in Alex Laguma’s A Walk in the Night And Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom
It is on the above crises that this work aimed at examining the Apartheid experiences of Black Africans in Alex Laguma’s A Walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Apartheid itself was a problem the blacks experienced during that era. The majority of the native (non-whites) were treated differently from whites (including blacks and other minorities and even poor whites) were forced to live in different areas, go to separate stores, schools and hospitals, treated differently at work and were not allowed to interact with the whites.
Michael suffers the same fate in A walk in the Night. He uses alcohol to hell quell his rage. At one point, he is harassed by a police officer. He eventually heads home to face the consequence of being unemployed and only to find himself in the gang just to survive.
The Blacks worked tireless but were badly paid by the white master. Nelson Mandela suffered suit even in his home town. This racial discrimination and segregation become a thing of interest to the researchers as the experienced are shared in the discourse. The Apartheid Experiences of Black African’s in Alex Laguma’s A Walk in the Night And Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is to examine the apartheid in South Africa.
Specifically, the research work will consider the following South African literature:
(i) Apartheid experience as portrayed in Alex Laguma’s A walk in the Night.
(ii) Apartheid experience as portrayed in Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom.
(iii) Nelson Mandela’s A long walk to Freedom.
(iv) This study will exposed the wickedness of the white against black and the racial segregation.
1.4 Significance of the Study
The study will help the readers to understand the ills of the Apartheid Government. The study will help in making the students and society to appreciate literary works as a means of conveying and revealing societal crises and how it would be corrected.
Also the knowledge acquired from this study will be very useful to other researchers who may carry further studies in related or similar area.
1.5 Objective of the Study
The following constitute the objectives of this research work:
(i) To know the meaning and origin of Apartheid
(ii) To portrays the effects and consequences of Apartheid policies on the Blacks.
1.6 Research Methodology
The primary sources in this research are the two selected novels which are: Alex Laguma’s A walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom. While the secondary source will employ the critical works from academic books, literary journals, library, magazine and internet source.
This research will expose the discrimination of the coloured against the non coloured during the Apartheid rule.
1.7 Scope/Delimitation of the Study
The research work concentrated on the experience of the blacks during Apartheid system. It is restricted to Alex Laguma’s A walk in the Night and Peter Abraham’s Tell Freedom. This study will also provide details from other works.
1.8(a) Bio Data of the Author
Alex La Guma was born in District six Cape Town. He was the son of James La Guma a leading figure in both the industrial and commercial workers union and the South African communist party in 1948.
He was a South African novelist, leader of the South African coloured people’s organization (SACPO) and a defendant in the Treason Trial, whose works help characterize the movement against the Apartheid era in South Africa.
He attended Trafalgar High School in District Six in Cape Town. After graduating from a Technical School in 1945, he was an active member of the plant workers union of the Metal Box Company. He was fired after organizing the young communists league in 1947 and the South African Communist Party in 1948.
He was chief representative of the African National Congress in the Caribbean at the time of his death in Havana, Cuba, in 1985. In 1984, he was appointed officer of Arts and letters by the French Ministry of culture. Although La Guma was an inspiration of an inspired by the growing resistance to apartheid, notably the Black consciousness movement, his connection to these groups was indirect.
La Guma’s works include the following:
(i) A walk in the Night and other stories (1962)
(ii) And a threefold cord (1964)
(iii) The stone-country (1967)
(iv) In the fog of the season’s end (1972)
(v) Time of the Butcherbird (1976)
1.8(b) The Bio-Data of Peter Abraham
Peter Abraham was born on 3rd March 1919 at Vrededorp, South Africa. His father was from Ethiopia and his mother was coloured. In 1939, he left South Africa and worked as a sailor and as a journalist in London.
He worked as an editor for the Daily worker, a communist Newspaper and became involved in the Pan-African Movement. Most of his novels and short stories are based on his early life in South Africa.
In the mid-1950’s Abrahams was commissioned to write a history of Jamaica (Jamaica: An Island Mosaic ) and soon after, he moved his family to the Island. There he became editor of the West Indian Economist and worked for Radio Jamaica, until 1964, when he gave up most of his duties so that he could devote himself full-time to writing.
Abrahams works include the following:
Dark Testament (1942);
Song of the City (1945);
The Path of Thunder (1945);
Wild conquest (1953);
A Wreath for Udoma (1965);
A Night of their own (1960);
The Black Experiences in the 20th;
An Autobiography and Meditation (2000);
Reality Check (2009).
1.9 Definition of Terms
Apartheid is a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race. It enforced racial discrimination against non-whites mainly focused on skin colour and facial feature.
Originally posted on February 17, 2021 @ 3:20 am