Mama Africa!
Author: Kathryn Erskine
For KS2/Juniors
Price 14.99 hardback
Book(s) at 14.99 hardback
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Mama Africa! This picture book biography of Miriam Makeba charts her rise to fame as a singer and civil rights activist, celebrated internationally for her opposition to apartheid South Africa.. It gives examples of injustices she was determined to fight, illustrating how the laws of segregation enshrined inequalities. She becomes known for singing protest songs in native languages and anti-apartheid propaganda, but as her fame grows she is forced to campaign from abroad, an exile, her songs banned in her native land whilst being widely listened to in secret. The book's format and lovely illustrations use colour with deliberate drama: the text is set against blocks of white or black background, black typeface on white for the description of the 'baases' provocations, and white typeface on black for the responses of Miriam and the black communities. Included are a glossary, and an afterword which gives the author's account of her own childhood experience of apartheid, as well as a timeline showing connections between Miriam Makeba's career and the Civil Rights Movement in the USA.