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Kaffir Boy

The following collection of thematically related readings is available in Kaffir Boy and Related Readings in McDougal Littell's Literature Connections series.

"The Toilet" by Gcina Mhlope
(from Sometimes When It Rains: Writings by South African Women)
Summary: In this memoir, a black South African woman recalls moving as a teenager to Johannesburg where her sister works as a domestic worker for a wealthy white family. With no place to live, she stays in her sister's room but must sneak in and out to keep the white owners from finding out. The only place she can call her own is a public toilet in a park.

Excerpt from Makes Me Wanna Holler by Nathan McCall, ©1994
Summary: In this autobiographical excerpt, an African-American journalist recalls the humiliation he experiences while working with his father, who does gardening for wealthy white families in Portsmouth, Virginia.

"The First Day" by Edward P. Jones
(from Lost in the City, ©1992)
Summary: The narrator of this short story recalls with touching detail the day her illiterate mother registers her for school.

Excerpt from Kaffir Boy in America by Mark Mathabane, © 1989
Summary: In an excerpt from an autobiography that continues his life story in America, Mark Mathabane draws comparisons between the situation of American blacks and those in his home country.

"A Grandfather's Greatest Gift" by Jerelyn Eddings
(from U.S. News and World Report, © March 24, 1997)
Summary: Jackie Robinson paid a high price to break the color barrier in baseball. This magazine article describes how Robinson's courageous actions made life different for his grandson, a college football player.

"Black Hair" by Gary Soto
(from New and Selected Poems, © 1995)
Summary: The Latino narrator of this poem recalls escaping his sad home life by leaping into the world of a baseball player.