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Andie Miller Reviews Begging to be Black by Antjie Krog

Begging to be BlackVerdict: carrot

On February 25, 1992 a gang leader is murdered in Kroonstad, Antjie Krog’s home town. The gun is hidden on her stoep, and her unwitting implication in the crime throws up many questions for her. Her community is hurt when she takes a T-shirt, given to her to dispose of, to the police. They feel betrayed.

“I haven’t done anything wrong,” she tells her daughter, “but whether I did the right thing is hard for me to work out… I fear the fact that the more I think I am doing the right thing, the more I feel unhappy about it.” So begins Begging to Be Black, a meditation on morality and interconnectedness.

The questions take her back to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). To the testimony of Cynthia Ngewu: “This thing called reconciliation… if it means this perpetrator, this man who has killed (my son) Christopher Piet, if it means he becomes human again… so that I, so that all of us, get our humanity back… then I agree, then I support it all.”

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