DRUM by Anthony Sampson


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Anthony Sampson, through a slight friendship at Oxford, went to Johannesburg to edit a new Negro periodical Drum, and this is a casual, off the cuff account which reflects the new Africa- racial and cultural rather than political- in transition. Trying to reach the great ""illiterate primitive mass""- Drum soon learned that the Africans wanted jazz and babes and crime, not ""tribal music, folk tales and Basutos in blankets"". Because of the prevailing mistrust of the ""white hand"", Drum built up an almost all black staff, and, while not a propagandist paper, did an expose of the brutal farm conditions in Bethal, later (with difficulty) of the city jails. Sampson himself was to frequent the local """" (drinking spots); he met the impressive, influential Father Huddleston, and comments freely here on the effects of apartheid, on racial bitterness, on the ""Coloureds"" (off- white) who cross the line, and achieves throughout a lively commentary on Africa today. It may escape the general market however.

Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin