Listed below are 5 carefully selected books that voice lives shaped, stories lived, hopes deferred, struggles fought, and ways God has moved in South Africa. We suggest these as starting points in cultivating a cursory understanding of South Africa before leaving. Some copies of books may be available at the Center for Global Learning & Engagement, and may be checked out.

Beyond the Miracle: Inside the New South Africa
Allister Sparks
University of Chicago Press, 2003

In this fascinating book, author and journalist Allister Sparks takes us inside South Africa, ten years after the miraculous end of Apartheid… This is a hopeful look at a country in transition – facing daunting problems, but moving towards a brighter tomorrow. (Taken from editorial.)

Kaffir Boy, An Autobiography: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa
Mark Mathabane
Touchstone, 1986

Hailed as a classic story of life in Apartheid South Africa, this book is a rare look into the life of a young boy growing up in Alexandra, one of South Africa’s notorious black townships. Weaned on devastating poverty and schooled in the cruel streets of South Africa’s most desperate ghetto, this is an extraordinary memoir of life under apartheid, a triumph of the human spirit over hatred and unspeakable degradation. (Taken from book cover.)

African Harvest: The Captivating Story of Michael Cassidy and African Enterprise
Anne Coomes
Monarch Books, 2002

This extraordinary chronicle of a man and the organization he founded is in truth an account of how the Holy Spirit has been working across Africa over the last 40 years. Through African Enterprise, tens of thousands have been won for Christ. Conflicts have been averted: Michael Cassidy's contribution during South Africa's transition to black majority rule arguably changed the history of the continent. (Taken from book cover.)

To My Children’s Children
Sindiwe Magona
David Phillips, 1990

Sindiwe Magona, born in the Transkei, grew up in the harsh surroundings of the Cape Flats. Magona draws on the traditional Xhosa storytelling techniques remembered from her early childhood. It is a distinctive style of writing that prompted this description from The Washington Post Book World: To My Children’s Children “is a delightful, poignant, feisty, and uplifting story that chronicles, in a refreshing and authentic voice, what it means to attain womanhood in a society where patriarchy and apartheid often conspired to degrade and enslave women.”

Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
Nelson Mandela
Little, Brown and Company, 1994

Nelson Mandela’s autobiography was hailed by Boston Globe as a book that “Should be read by every person alive.” The book describes his early life, coming of age, education, and 27 years in prison. The last chapters of the book describe his political ascension, and his belief that the struggle continues against apartheid in South Africa. (Taken from book cover.)