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Blame Me on History

William 'Bloke' Modisane

Feeling an exile in the country of his birth, the talented journalist and leading black intellectual Bloke Modisane left South Africa in 1959. It was shortly after the apartheid government had bulldozed Sophiatown, the township of his childhood. His biting indictment of apartheid, Blame Me on History, was published in 1963 – and banned shortly afterwards.

Modisane offers a harrowing account of the degradation and oppression faced daily by black South Africans. His penetrating observations and insightful commentary paint a vivid picture of what it meant to be black in apartheid South Africa. At the same time, his evocative writing transports the reader back to a time when Sophiatown still teemed with life.

This 60th-anniversary edition of Modisane’s autobiography serves as an example of passionate resistance to the scourge of racial discrimination in our country, and is a reminder not to forget our recent past.


William 'Bloke' Modisane (1923–1986) was a South African author, playwright and actor who worked on the staff of Drum magazine in the 1950s. He emigrated to Europe in 1959 and died in Dortmund, West Germany, in 1986.


Category:  Autobiography
ISBN:  9780868522524
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale:  February 2024
Format:  Paperback
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