Recommended reading: “Kaffir Boy”

Image of Prof. Cynthia Howson with a cover image of her recommended book, "The Kaffir Boy"
Photo courtesy of UW Tacoma

“I was 10 years old when my mom and I read this memoir of life in apartheid South Africa. My elementary school curriculum had included the typically white-washed history of civil rights heroes, so this was my first exposure to the idea that civil rights were neither complete nor universal. My idea of blackness was my pre-kindergarten best friend, Ephram, whose bald teddy bear father loved spinach, and The Cosby Show. Interestingly, my parents had never believed the illusion of a post-racial America, but my teachers seemed to, so this was the first time I remember being able to talk about injustice seriously, without simple heroes and villains. This was the beginning of my interest in African Studies, economic justice, anti-racism, and truth.”

Cynthia Howson, Ph.D.
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences
Social and Historical Studies Division
Promoted to Senior Lecturer, Spring 2018

Find Kaffir Boy in the Library

Meaningful reads is a recommended book series commemorating the promotion and tenure of faculty at the University of Washington Tacoma. Beginning with the 2017-2018 academic year, newly promoted or tenured faculty are invited to share a book with thoughts on why the book was meaningful to their career or life.

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