Begging to be Black is the latest piece of work by the esteemed and controversial South African writer, poet and academic Antjie Krog. Launched as part of an immense trio of publications including Country of My Skull (1998) and A Change of Tongue (2003), both previous books in this series dealt with her life in South Africa (during and post Apartheid) as a white female patriot and paramour of the rainbow nation. Born in 1952, she has been described as the Pablo Neruda of Afrikaans and has been awarded multiples of accolades.
Begging to be Black starts in 1992 as a gang leader is shot and killed by a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in Kroonstad, South Africa. The murder weapon was then hidden on Krog’s veranda. Krog begins the book by examining her stance in the vexing case. As an outspoken and challenging writer and adept academic, Krog is able to produce craftsmanship in her prodigious composition. It is particularly relevant to the world as the 2010 World Cup sets off in the inferno of South Africa. After the break Antjie Krog reads from Begging to be Black.