Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth's Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa

by Mark Mathabane

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Student Question

How do the Peri-Urban raids demonstrate discrimination in Kaffir Boy?

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The Peri-Urban raids inflicted terror into the lives of the blacks living in Alexandria.  In addition, often times Peri-Urban enforcers were black themselves so this puts these people in to the uncomfortable position of oppressing fellow blacks.  this situation is also reminiscent of the slave trade where rival tribes would sell each other to the white slavers. 

During the raids, the people were pulled out of their houses in various states of disarray.  In the second and third chapters, the reader experiences a raid in which the reader learns of the Peri-Urban taking people out of their beds and dragging them off to jail.  In addition, these sweeping searches targeted any and everyone putting the entire neighborhood into a state of fear.  The Peri-Urban used this fear to humiliate and rob the people of their dignity.

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