You can't walk alone. Many have given the illusion, but none have really walked alone. Man is not made that way. Each man is bedded in his people, their history, their culture, and their values.
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A man can submit today in order to resist tomorrow. My submission had been such. And because I had not been free to show my real feeling, to voice my true thoughts, my submission had bred bitterness and anger. And there were nearly ten million others who had submitted with equal anger and bitterness.
Being born white in South Africa or anywhere in the empire and Commonwealth automatically conferred this special status. You had no problem finding a place to live, a job, trade union membership, access to social services. Being white, speaking English, you were accepted as English, entitled to all the rights of citizenship.
For me, personally, life in South Africa had come to an end. I had been lucky in some of the whites I had met. Meeting them had made a straight 'all-blacks-are-good, all-whites-are-bad' attitude impossible. But I had reached a point where the gestures of even my friends among the whites were suspect, so I had to go or be forever lost.
I attended school regularly for three years. I learned to read and write. 'Lamb's Tales' from Shakespeare was my favourite reading matter. I stole, by finding, Palgrave's 'Golden Treasury.' These two books, and the 'Everyman' edition of John Keats, were my proudest and dearest possessions, my greatest wealth.
The London I entered was a great bustling metropolitan city at war, an imperial power fighting to hold on to that empire. And the teeming colonial subjects of that empire did not, on the whole, want England to lose that war, but they also did not want the empire to emerge unchanged from it. This, for very many of us, was the hard dilemma.