To an African youth who had never traveled beyond the borders of Thembuland, journeying halfway around the world to the United States must have seemed like the adventure of a lifetime. Indeed it was. Although scores of South African blacks had already made their way to American educational institutions in the 20-odd years before 1913, each new contingent of students left their homeland not fully knowing what lay ahead. The image that 20 year old Alfred Xuma conjured up when he thought of the United States was a positive one. He envisioned America as a kind of promised land in which blacks could lift themselves up through the right combination ofeducation and self-help. In his quest for an American education, Xuma would discover more opportunities and face more challenges than most of his black South African predecessors in the States could have ever imagined.
KeywordsBlack Community Black Population Black Student South African Government Black Middle Class
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