Written by on October 13, 2010

Kaffir Boy Author to Speak at Cal Poly

Image © Life Magazine

Image © Life Magazine

Mark Mathabane to speak to SLO Community

  • When: Thursday, October 21, 2010, 7pm
  • Where: Cal Poly Spanos Theater
  • Cost: Free to all students; All others: donations accepted

Challenged in SLO — may be banned

Just a few weeks after last month’s celebration of Banned Books Week, a book by South African author Mark Mathabane, Kaffir Boy, was challenged by local parents.

The book, Kaffir Boy: An Autobiography — The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa, is listed as the 39th most-challenged book by the American Library Association.

A 1990 best-seller, the book chronicles Mathabane’s escape from South Africa to the United States and his coming of age in a country overwhelming in its immensity, luxuriousness, poverty, and despair.


SLO School board to consider banning

Within the next week, the San Luis Obispo School Board will be considering how to respond to this challenge. Meanwhile, School Board member Kathryn Rogers has been able to coordinate a visit by Mathabane, at Cal Poly’s Spanos Theatre next Thursday, October 21, at 7 pm.

Event is free to students

Support by the Kennedy Library, the College of Liberal Arts, the Division of Student Affairs, and many others has made it possible to offer admission at no charge to students (Cal Poly, Cuesta, High School, or others). Adult admission will be open with donations accepted. A flyer is attached and you are welcome to use it to help spread the word.

Please join us

We encourage you to come and to share with your friends or neighbors this unusual opportunity for our community to explore together the important issues of censorship and education in a very local context.

Want to do more?

Would you like to help spread the word? You can download the flyer, tell your friends on facebook, or (if it’s not checked out) borrow a copy from Kennedy LIbrary.



  • SLO High School
  • SLO High School Newspaper
  • Kathryn Eisendrath Rogers, SLCUSD Board Member
  • Robert E. Kennedy Library
  • Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts
  • Cal Poly Division of Student Affairs
  • Cal Poly English Department
  • Cal Poly Graphic Communication Department
  • Cal Poly Multicultural Center

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