"At the Lisbon Plate"
by Dionne Brand

Historical background:

Lisbon -- the capital of Portugal.
1. Angola's independence: (Location: Southwest Africa map)

"In 1974, a group of young Portuguese colonels overthrew the Lisbon government. The coup
 precipitated the collapse o f Portuguese empire as the new government hastily granted independence
 to its colonies. Following negotiations in Portugal, Angola's three main opposition parties agreed to
 establish a transitional government in January 1975. Within two months, however, the FNLA, MPLA
 and UNITA were fighting each other and the country was well on its way to being divided into zones
 controlled by rival political groups.

 By the end of the year more than 90 percent of the white settlers had left Angola, draining the country
 of most of its skilled and semi-skilled work force. Many of the 300,000 departing Portuguese
 deliberately destroyed some of the country's infrastructure rather than turn factories, plantations and
 transportation over to the An golans.

 Portugal granted Ang ola its independence on November 11, 1975.
(source: The Virtual Tour of Angola History)

2. Camus' The Stranger (synopsis)
'Camus, who fought all his life for a just society in which the two communities could live in harmony, was never able to
make an Arab come alive in his fiction. Here, the scene is typical: 'They watched us silently, but in their special way,
no more or no less than if we were stoned or dead trees." '