by Koni Benson
This searingly observant illustrated history of the women of Crossroads during the 1970s and 1980s tells a history of past and present organised resistance movements led by black women.
“I heard about the famous women of the Crossroads struggle, which resulted in Crossroads being the only African informal settlement in the 1970s to successfully resist the apartheid bulldozers… I wanted to know what happened to the women who spearheaded the struggle for Crossroads,” so says Koni Benson, the author of this graphic novel-style history, and lecturer in the Department of History at the University of the Western Cape.
Illustrated by South African political cartoonists, André and Nathan Trantraal, together with Ashley Marais, Crossroads: I Live Where I Like, joins some recent histories which are written for both children and adults alike. The candid illustration style and the deeply felt text is a testament not just to the team who produced the book, but to the remaining women of Crossroads, who wanted their stories to have the widest reach possible.
Crossroads: I Live Where I Like is a crucial exploration of a neglected part of South African history. It has all the hallmarks of a book that will be regarded as a pioneer in both form and content.