Laure Peskine wants to share with us an article from this week's books section of The Times. She discovered that Dickens and Oliver Twist had played a big part in giving hope to the children in Soweto. For those too young to remember : June 16th, 1976 was the start of the uprisings in Soweto. In this article we learn how the children of Soweto were given hope reading Oliver Twist...
"Many books were banned under apartheid but not the classics of English literature. Pupils arriving hungry at school every day were captivated by the story of a frail but courageous boy named Oliver Twist.
The book was a revelation. Systemised oppression of children happened in England too! They were not alone. Slave labour, thin rations and cruel taunts were part of a child's life in the world outside as well.
One former pupil, now in his forties, says of Dickens: Four or five of us would be together and discuss the stories. And to think he wasn't banned! The authorities didn't know what was in these books, how they helped us to be strong, to think that we were not forgotten."
Read the complete article "why Dickens was a hero in Soweto"