Samuel’s parents and young sister, innocent bystanders during an uprising, are killed by South African police. Samuel is sent to live with his uncle, a tribal chief in the Bantu homeland, while his brother vows to join the African National Congress armed struggle and avenge his family’s deaths. In the homeland, Samuel discovers he can run faster than anyone and before long begins to train under his English-educated uncle. Years later, after the end of Apartheid, Samuel is selected as the token black South African athlete to run in the Olympics. President Nelson Mandela is there when he wins his gold medal, and Samuel dedicates it to ‘a very special man… I was running for the President. I was running for my country. This powerful and moving story portrays what it was like for blacks growing up in South Africa aunder Apartheid and the different ways in which they struggled to gain their freedom. For some, like Samuel’s brother, it was an armed struggle, but for Samuel it was the opportunity to prove he could run better than any white man.
Some view the systematic killing, rape, and destruction of homes in Darfur as a grave humanitarian crisis. For others, it’s a clear example of the ultimate crime against humanity — genocide. This book helps young readers understand these and other difficult questions. Providing an overview of the history of genocide worldwide, the book explores the paradox that while a person who murders another person can be tried and even executed for the crime, a person who murders hundreds or thousands of people usually goes free. Using case studies of acts of genocide throughout history, the book points out the unique character of each while at the same time establishing important links between them.