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María reviews Cry Freedom

The title of the book is ‘Cry Freedom` and it was written by John Briley. It’s a drama which affects the lives of a white man called Donalds Wood, the editor of an important newspaper (the Daily Dispatch), and a black man called Biko, who is a political leader that wants to bring together the black and white people in South Africa.


The story begins when Ken Robertson, one of the journalists in the Daily Dispatch, presents his boss, Donalds Wood, a series of photos that show the police beating several black people.

Woods decides to put them on the front page of the newspaper although he knows it is illegal. One of these blacks beaten by police is Biko. Woods will write a report talking wrong about him and saying that the white people and the black people are separated due to ‘the blacks’ prejudices’ against the white people.

At this time it’s when Mamphela  Ramphele appears in the story. She is a doctor who works for Biko in a clinic for black people because she thinks that Woods was wrong in his report and he talked about things that he didn’t know. She tells him that he can go to the black area with her one day to see with his own eyes the way they really live.

Woods accepts this proposal and goes to Biko’s house to know him personally. Biko lives in a church. He is always escorted by two policemen. When they finish the conversation, they feel good because they can see they don’t have such different ideas.

Over the days they begin a friendship and Biko, personally, shows the way they really live and they think… Woods realizes that the truth is not that the blacks are prejudiced against the whites; the truth is that the white people think that the blacks must be at their service and they must be their slaves. For them there are only duties and not rights. Due to this reason, Wood offers a job in his newspaper to Biko, Manphela and Tengy, the mother of a black family. That way they can express their ideas about their lives and be read by millions of people.

The police don’t agree with that then, and after trying to put them in jail and not managing to, they killed to Biko and Mamphela. However, they never admit to being responsible for their deaths.

Finally, Woods wants to write a book about the biography of Biko, and since he knows that he will never be able to publish it there, he has to go with his family to another country where can will.


For me this book is great because of its story. I love to read books about events which happen in real life, and stories like this, unfortunately, have occurred on numerous occasions. Although, at last, nowadays the situation has changed, and we can see that the president of the United States of America, called Barack Obama, is a black man.

I recommend this book to everyone to know the way black people lived in the past.

May 30, 2011 - Posted by | 2nd INT, BOOKS

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