Apartheid Literature

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A Brief Introduction to the Apartheid In 1910, after years of conflict and warfare, the Afrikaner community (the descendants of Dutch traders, livestock farmers and religious refugees from west Europe) and the British established a nation-state called the Union of South Africa.  The National Party was formed by the Afrikaners, while the British constituted the […]


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Historical Background South Africa is a land of abundant natural resources, mild climate, and fertile lands. Resources range from diamond and gold to platinum, and the land is fertile enough to feed the rest of the world if cultivated intensively. Yet many Europeans believed Africa to be the “Dark Continent,”  a continent of poverty, harsh […]

Schreiner, Olive

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Biographical Overview On March 24, 1855, Olive Emilie Albertina was born the ninth of twelve children to Gottlob and Rebecca Schreiner. Her German father and English mother, both missionaries in South Africa, provided a household grounded in a strict Calvinist tradition. Gottlob Schreiner’s failures in mission work as well as a number of businesses prompted […]

Head, Bessie

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“Love is so powerful, it’s like unseen flowers under your feet as you walk.” – Bessie Head, A Question of Power Bessie Head, one of Africa’s most prominent writers, was born in South Africa in 1937. The child of an “illicit” union between a Scottish woman and a black man, Head was taken from her mother […]

Coetzee, J.M.

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Biography John Maxwell Coetzee, better known as J.M. Coetzee, was born in South Africa to Afrikaner parents on February 9th, 1940. His father worked for the government and also was a sheep farmer. When Coetzee was eight, his father lost the government job due to his differing views from the apartheid government. The family then moved […]