“Master Harold”… and the Boys” by Athol Fugard is a one-act play that illustrates life in South Africa under the apartheid rule. Although generally the relationship between black Africans and the white Africans is very distant, Fugard’s characters do not follow that norm. In this written task, I chose short story to present the sequel of this play. If remembered, in the ending of the play, Fugard left the audience/readers with a scene Willie and Sam dancing to the song “Little Man” with lyrics “Little man you’ve had a busy day.” This refers to the choice Hally would choose later on in his life. In this short story, the readers/audience will recognize that Hally chose the path that overcomes the social barrier dividing the White from Black race. Also, this task aims to stress the real-life lesson Hally learned from Sam and the rejection of institutionalized racism or apartheid by becoming an advocate for anti-racism. The readers/audience will realize how big the impact of Sam to Hally is by learning that Hally has become a degree holder on social science and speaker on South Africa’s apartheid system. In this written task too, the readers/audience will recognize that Sam’s hope for Hally to be a decent man is never put to waste because, like Sam, Hally is now a champion of equality and justice. Finally, this task accentuates the importance of education to help the readers/audience overcome attitudes and prejudices that are deeply rooted in the society we live in.
TEXT TYPE: NARRATIVE (SHORT STORY)
They have made the kites fly. Everyone is cheering.
Today is Racial Consciousness Day. I am sitting on my chair when the rain starts to pour. Everyone in the field begins to disperse, as if they are dancing in no particular movement. Then all of a sudden a thought occurs to me. It echoes saying, “You can’t fly kites on rainy days.” Then I remember Sam—my dear friend Sam. I have had no news about his whereabouts after he and Willie resigned from my parents’ St. George’s Park Tea Room where they worked as waiters. I was only 17 years old then. My life was scattered at that time. I didn’t know what I wanted. It was Sam who actually helped me realize many things bigger than life. Sam was there educating all my life. He helped me grow up to be someone I can be proud of. How can I forget Sam when he was the person who taught me that I was so wrong in many ways? For all the demeaning and racists comments I made, for humiliating Sam with a racist joke about the nigger’s arse, and worst of all for spitting on him. Perhaps I was just a troubled boy, a lonely boy. No. Perhaps I was angry, arrogant, and downright mean back then. But people change. And yes I did change. I am now the decent man that Sam hoped for.
The rain has stopped. Everyone is back in the field, cheering.
“Today is a special day because we are celebrating the Racial Consciousness Day,” the master of ceremonies announced. “To give us an inspirational talk, let us all welcome Dr. Hally,” the master of ceremonies said.
Yes. I am now called Dr. Hally. I am no longer Master Harold that I was once before. I now hold a degree on social science. I have been an advocate for anti-racism for desegregation here in South Africa. I give talks to different audiences with hope that they will be able to rise above the prejudices that have been institutionalized in the society we live in.
I stand and take the microphone and begin talking.
“Racism has created boundaries in our time,” I started. “It creates tension among us. It corrupts our relationships with our good friends, neighbors, and lovers. It makes us believe that skin color is power,” I stressed.
My speaking engagement goes well. Little do they (my audience) know that every time I speak about South Africa or apartheid system I feel like shrinking in shame that once in my life I had been fooled by a belief that race determines every opportunity that knocks on the individual. I am ashamed that I have looked down on people who have done nothing but kindness to me and whom I found solace. I feel so small every time I think of what I did to Sam. He is intelligent, refined, compassionate, and patient with me. But the world becomes unfair with him. Just because he is a “black man in his forties” he is not given opportunities the way I as a “white man” am. My foolishness and ignorance have even deliberately hurt Sam. I guess that is way too much. On the other hand, I feel very proud of myself that Sam has impacted me and left me real-life lessons that I never learned from my biological family. He left me a legacy that I now uphold–that is, to be understanding and forgiving even when someone has insulted and mistreated you.