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.