Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
Like much of her music, Miriam Makeba's autobiography is both personal and political. As it details the story of a young girl's coming of age and search for identity, it simultaneously records the history of a country struggling for independence. In the prologue, Makeba compares herself to a South African bird soaring above the horror of apartheid (aparthood) which was instituted in 1947. As she recounts the details of war and injustice in direct, understated, idiom-filled prose, and as she intertwines details of ancient customs with the realities of modern technology, Makeba suggests that music best expresses the tragic subject of the inner exile of the South African people.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1991