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Book cover of A Burning Hunger: One Family's Struggle Against Apartheid

A Burning Hunger: One Family's Struggle Against Apartheid

by Lynda Schuster

Publisher: Ohio University Press
Pages: 472
Hardcover
ISBN: 9780821416518






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Overview of A Burning Hunger: One Family's Struggle Against Apartheid

On June 16, 1976, the youth of Soweto rose up in protest against a new rule making Afrikaans the language of instruction in their schools. Tsietsi Mashinini, a charismatic high school student, led them in demonstrations that quickly turned into South Africa’s biggest rebellion. Tsietsi’s actions on that day set in motion a chain of events that changed his country irrevocably and forever defined his family. From that moment onward, the Mashinini name became the stuff of legend; many of Tsietsi’s twelve siblings and even his parents, law-abiding, church-going citizens, found themselves pulled inexorably into the fight against apartheid. Originally published in the United Kingdom to critical acclaim, A Burning Hunger tells the tale of this remarkable family. It is the story of black South Africa in microcosm, embracing just about every facet of the liberation struggle. Tsietsi and his brothers became leading players in everything from guerrilla warfare to urban insurrection.

Synopsis of A Burning Hunger: One Family's Struggle Against Apartheid

This is an acclaimed account of a family of foot soldiers for black liberation in South Africa, whose lives were changed in the Soweto uprising. Published originally in the UK to wide reviews, this is its first publication in the U. S.

Publishers Weekly

Five black South African brothers from a moderate, religious home emerged as political heroes during the 1970s and '80s. Their fame came mostly from the events of a single day-June 16, 1976-when middle school and high school students held a nonviolent march to protest a government ruling that required half of all school subjects to be taught in Afrikaans, a language few black children knew. Police shot dozens of children at the march, and Tsietsi Mashinini, one of its organizers, became an enemy of the state. His siblings Rocks, Mpho, Dee and Tshepiso, at once cursed by their brother's notoriety and blessed with his gift for political organizing and public speaking, became leaders in the antiapartheid movement and eventually followed their brother into hiding, prison and exile. Schuster's five-way biography captures the antiapartheid movement from the perspective of adolescents, but her book is hampered by complicated accounts of infighting among political factions, and the journeys of its protagonists are sometimes difficult to follow. Yet the essential story remains crystal clear: this is a book about the sacrifices a family made for a cause much greater than they. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

About the Author, Lynda Schuster

Lynda Schuster worked as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the Christian Science Monitor in Africa, Central and South America, and the Middle East. Her writing has appeared in Granta, Utne, and the Atlantic Monthly. She now lives in Gainesville, Florida.

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Editorials

Publishers Weekly

Five black South African brothers from a moderate, religious home emerged as political heroes during the 1970s and '80s. Their fame came mostly from the events of a single day-June 16, 1976-when middle school and high school students held a nonviolent march to protest a government ruling that required half of all school subjects to be taught in Afrikaans, a language few black children knew. Police shot dozens of children at the march, and Tsietsi Mashinini, one of its organizers, became an enemy of the state. His siblings Rocks, Mpho, Dee and Tshepiso, at once cursed by their brother's notoriety and blessed with his gift for political organizing and public speaking, became leaders in the antiapartheid movement and eventually followed their brother into hiding, prison and exile. Schuster's five-way biography captures the antiapartheid movement from the perspective of adolescents, but her book is hampered by complicated accounts of infighting among political factions, and the journeys of its protagonists are sometimes difficult to follow. Yet the essential story remains crystal clear: this is a book about the sacrifices a family made for a cause much greater than they. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Library Journal

The story of the Mashininis of Soweto, South Africa, told here by American journalist Schuster, is one of politics, bravery, and sorrow. Of father Joseph and mother Nomkhith's 13 children, five became freedom fighters. The parents were against the nighttime meetings, nonviolent marches, and protests in which their children participated, but what could they do? The June 16, 1976, student uprising in Soweto, organized by oldest son Tsietsi, was a more uniting event than any other in the struggle against apartheid. Arrests, beatings, and torture followed, and eventually all five brothers became exiles. Only Tsietsi did not witness the rewards of their work, for he died under mysterious circumstances in 1990 and was returned to South Africa to a hero's burial. By the time Nelson Mandela was elected president in 1994, the remaining brothers had returned home. In an informative and admiring style laced with interviews, Schuster writes a riveting family history of an infamous time that still has ramifications. Required for all African collections and highly recommended for all public libraries.-James Thorsen, Central North Carolina Regional Lib. Syst., Burlington Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

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