Mine Boy

Mine Boy Study Guide

Peter Abrahams's 1946 novel Mine Boy follows a young farm boy from the northern part of South Africa named Xuma as he moves to Johannesburg to work in a gold mine. As Xuma's heart is broken by a black woman who wishes to be white, and he is exposed to the alcoholism, violence, poverty, illness, and other social issues that arise from racial and economic oppression, Xuma experiences confusion and despair before he becomes hopeful that he can become a man without a color, and imagines a society free from racial discrimination.

Published two years before the white supremacist South African National Party passed its first official apartheid law, Mine Boy captured and exposed the inhumane conditions a white minority regime created for the black and colored majority of South Africans.