NEWS
11/01/2018 08:53 SAST | Updated 11/01/2018 09:01 SAST

Google Doodle Honours SA Author And Activist, Alan Paton

"His magnum opus is a moving tale of racial injustice, human suffering, and redemption, as two fathers come to terms with the loss of their sons..."

Google Doodle

The Google Doodle for January 11 pays tribute to author and anti-apartheid activist, Alan Paton -- marking what would've been his 115th birthday, reported Time magazine.

Born in KwaZulu-Natal on January 11, 1903, Paton became a prominent figure both in the literary and political world through his writings and public addresses that spoke out against apartheid, the South African system of racial discrimination, during the mid to late 20th century.

After graduating from the University of Natal (now the University of KwaZulu-Natal and becoming a teacher, Paton became head of Diepkoof, a prison for young black youths, where he introduced reforms that included open dormitories and home visitations.

It was while studying prison reform in Europe that Paton was inspired to write his famed book, "Cry, the Beloved Country", which tells the story of a black minister whose son is accused of murdering the son of a wealthy white farmer amid racial tensions. It was published in 1948 -- the year apartheid was formally established and when the four decades of racial segregation began in South Africa.

Paton also helped to create the Liberal Party of South Africa in 1953. The party fought for universal voting rights and an opposition of violence through 1958, when it was disbanded by a law that made interracial parties illegal.

Besides his books, he also wrote numerous essays on race and politics that helped spark attention from around the world on the issue of apartheid.

As the Google Doodle describes: "His magnum opus is a moving tale of racial injustice, human suffering, and redemption, as two fathers come to terms with the loss of their sons -- one an accidental murder and the other, his unfortunate victim."