October 27th in African American History – Es’kia Mphahlele

Es’kia Mphahlele

Es’kia Mphahlele

October 27, 2008 Es’kia Mphahlele, author, educator, and activist, died.

Mphahlele was born December 17, 1919 in Pretoria, South Africa. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from the University of South Africa in 1949 and 1956, respectively. Mphahlele taught high school from 1945 to 1952 and published his first book of short stories, “Man Must Live,” in 1947.

Banned from teaching by the apartheid government, he left South Africa in 1957 and spent the next twenty years in exile. During that time, he earned his Ph. D. from the University of Denver in 1968 and taught at the University of Pennsylvania. Mphahlele returned to South Africa in 1977 and joined the faculty of the University of Witwatersrand.

He authored a number of other books, including “The African Image” (1962), “The Wanderers” (1969), and “Father Come Home” (1984). He also authored two autobiographies, “Down Second Avenue” (1959) and “Afrika My Music: An Autobiography 1957-1983” (1984).

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