In 1992, a gang leader was shot dead by a member of Umkhonto we Sizwe in Kroonstad. The murder weapon was then hidden on Antjie Krog’s stoep.
In Begging to Be Black, Krog begins by exploring her position in this controversial case. From there the book ranges widely in scope, both in time – reaching back to the days of Basotho king Moshoeshoe – and in space – as we follow Krog’s experiences as a research fellow in Berlin, far from the Africa that produced her.
Begging to Be Black forms the third part of a trilogy that Antjie Krog (unknowingly) began with Country of My Skull and continued with A Change of Tongue.
Mixing memoir and history, philosophy and poetry, the book is stylistically experimental and personally courageous.
Begging to Be Black is a welcome addition to Krog’s own oeuvre and to South African literary non-fiction.