RASICM IN AMERICA AND APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA A LITERARY DISCOURSE OF RICHARD WRIGHT’S BLACK BOY AND ALEX’ LA GUMA’S A WALK IN THE NIGHT
The subject of racism and apartheid has been a lively topic for critical debate since the turn of the twentieth century, with scholars examining the treatment of various kinds of discrimination based on race, religion, or gender in literary works, both past and present as well as in the attitude of the writers themselves. Racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics. Apartheid on the other hand, is an Afrikaans word meaning “the state of being apart”. While apartheid was the system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party Government, the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, under which the rights, associations and movements of the majority of black inhabitants were curtailed and minority rule was maintained, racism in America was backed by racial segregation laws enacted from 1876 to the 20th century in the United States at the state and local level. They mandated racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern States. The separation in practice led to conditions for African Americans that were inferior to those provided for white Americans, systematizing a number of economic, educational and social disadvantages.