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Bessie Head

Born in South Africa, Bessie Head experienced firsthand the effects of apartheid. Designated as a "colored person" (part black and part white), she was denied the full privileges of citizenship in her homeland. Head never knew her parents; she was raised from birth by a child welfare agency and was later placed with foster parents. After training in a missionary school, she worked for several years as a teacher and journalist before immigrating to a small village in Botswana. There she settled into a quiet life of writing and farming.