Power Lines by Jason Carter
Two Years in South Africa's Borders

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Synopsis

Jason Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, writes of a South Africa few people ever see. During his two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, Carter stayed with a rural family in Swaziland, a former black homeland near the Mozambique border. South Africa is a country still racked by deep racial divides. The whites live much as other Westerners, with nice houses and nice cars. The blacks, Carter found, live in a world of grinding poverty and unemployment, where school children do not dare to hope, and where casual crime is accepted as a way to get back at whites. Even after Nelson Mandelais regime-shattering election as president, whites and blacks literally cannot communicate with each other. During his training Carter learned Zulu and Siswati, two of the many black languages, and with these tools he began breaking down racial barriers. Everywhere blacks befriended him, delighted to find a white person who spoke in their tongue. Carter was invited to engagement parties and funerals. He rode all over the country in overcrowded black taxis and hitchhiked in cars driven by both blacks and whites. In the process he found many people on both sides that want to reach out to each other. And that is Carters message. Even in a society as divided as South Africa, peoples desire to come together will triumph over all.
 

About Jason Carter

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Carter was a teenager when he first visited Africa with his grandfather, former President Jimmy Carter, in 1987. He has since returned to Africa as a representative of the Carter Center and, most recently, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Lochiel, a South African town near the Swaziland border. Carter is a law student at the University of Georgia.
 
Published June 1, 2002 by National Geographic. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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