Alan Paton Marked With Google Doodle Today, Who Is He?

Alan Paton


South African author and activist Alan Paton's honoured by Google Doodle today, He introduced the world to life in pre-Apartheid South Africa, fearlessly speaking out against racial segregation in person and through his books, and propagating universal franchise and non-violence.

Born in Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), South Africa, 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 1900s.

Later, as administrator of the Diepkloof Reformatory for young black African offenders, he developed a controversial but compassionate system of reform that included open dormitories, work outside the prison walls, and home visitations.

After graduating from the University of 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.

After the Second World War, Paton toured correctional reform facilities across the world, during which time he started to write Cry, the Beloved Country. The book was published in 1948. ironically the very year in which apartheid was formally institutionalized, beginning four decades of racial segregation in South Africa.

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.

Today’s Doodle depicts Paton on a train ride (on which he allegedly gained inspiration to write Cry, the Beloved Country) and celebrates the 115th birthday of a visionary who did much to fight for basic human principles of love, non-violence, and equality.

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