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Introduction to Apartheid
Transcript of Introduction to Apartheid
These 317 laws protected rights for the five million whites living in South Africa, gave partial rights to Coloureds (mixed race) and Indians, and denied them to the 25 million black South Africans.
Statement by the National Party of South Africa, March 29, 1948
Apartheid, meaning apartness, was a system of legalized racism put in place by the National Party in South Africa from 1948- 1994.
Laws required black South Africans to...
There are two sections of thought in South Africa in regard to the policy affecting the non-European community. On the one hand there is the policy of equality, which advocates equal rights within the same political structure for all civilized and educated persons, irrespective of race or colour, and the gradual granting of the franchise to non-Europeans as they become qualified to make use of democratic rights.
On the other hand there is the policy of separation (apartheid) which has grown from the experience of established European population of the country, and which is based on the Christian principles of Justice and reasonableness.
Its aim is the maintenance and protection of the European population of the country as a pure White race, the maintenance and protection of the indigenous racial groups as separate communities, with prospects of developing into self-supporting communities within their own areas, and the stimulation of national pride, self-respect, and mutual respect among the various races of the country.
We can act in only, one of two directions. Either we must follow the course of equality-, which must eventually mean national suicide for the White race, or we must take the course of separation (apartheid) through which the character and the future of every race will be protected and safeguarded with full opportunities for development and self-maintenance in their own ideas, without the interests of one clashing with the interests of the other, and without one regarding the development of the other as undermining or a threat to himself.
Carry a passbook starting at age 16.
Live, work, and play in specific areas.
The 1955 Bantu Education Act forced blacks to attend underfunded schools. The intended result of this law was to have fewer educated black South Africans which would limit their job opportunities. They would make less money so they would experience more poverty. Their focus would be to feed themselves and their families instead of protesting the government.
Resistance started in the 1950s.
Peaceful protestors were attacked by South African Police. Sixty-nine were killed and over 180 were wounded.
The protestors were angry about Pass laws, which were designed to segregate the population and severely limit the movements of the non-white populace.
People were divided into categories based on their race.
See this video about racial classification.
The Sharpeville Massacre
March 21, 1960
An eyewitness account from Humphrey Tyler, the assistant editor at Drum magazine:
The police have claimed they were in desperate danger because the crowd was stoning them. Yet only three policemen were reported to have been hit by stones - and more than 200 Africans were shot down. The police also have said that the crowd was armed with 'ferocious weapons', which littered the compound after they fled.
I saw no weapons, although I looked very carefully, and afterwards studied the photographs of the death scene. While I was there I saw only shoes, hats and a few bicycles left among the bodies. The crowd gave me no reason to feel scared, though I moved among them without any distinguishing mark to protect me, quite obvious with my white skin. I think the police were scared though, and I think the crowd knew it.
The South African activist and former president Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) helped bring an end to apartheid and has been a global advocate for human rights. A member of the African National Congress party beginning in the 1940s, he was a leader of both peaceful protests and armed resistance against the white minority’s oppressive regime in a racially divided South Africa. His actions landed him in prison for nearly three decades and made him the face of the antiapartheid movement both within his country and internationally. Released in 1990, he participated in the eradication of apartheid and in 1994 became the first black president of South Africa, forming a multiethnic government to oversee the country’s transition. Since retiring from politics in 1999, he has remained a devoted champion for peace and social justice in his own nation and around the world.
(Photo Credit: Corbis)
Soweto Student Uprising
On the morning of June 16, 1976, thousands of students from the African township of Soweto, outside Johannesburg, gathered at their schools to participate in a student-organized protest demonstration. Many of them carried signs that read, 'Down with Afrikaans' and 'Bantu Education – to Hell with it;' others sang freedom songs as the unarmed crowd of schoolchildren marched towards Orlando soccer stadium where a peaceful rally had been planned. The crowd swelled to more than 10,000 students. En route to the stadium, approximately fifty policemen stopped the students and tried to turn them back. At first, the security forces tried unsuccessfully to disperse the students with tear gas and warning shots. Then policemen fired directly into the crowd of demonstrators. Many students responded by running for shelter, while others retaliated by pelting the police with stones.
[Over 600 students died that day. Two of them were] Hastings Ndlovu and Hector Pieterson, who died from police gunfire; hundreds more sustained injuries during the subsequent chaos that engulfed Soweto. The shootings in Soweto sparked a massive uprising that soon spread to more than 100 urban and rural areas throughout South Africa.
Stephen Biko (18 December 1946 12 September 1977) was an anti-apartheid activist in South Africa in the 1960s and 1970s. A student leader, he later founded the Black Consciousness Movement which would empower and mobilize much of the urban black population. Since his death in police custody, he has been called a martyr of the anti-apartheid movement. While living, his writings and activism attempted to empower black people, and he was famous for his slogan "black is beautiful", which he described as meaning: "man, you are okay as you are, begin to look upon yourself as a human being".
Biko by Peter Gabriel, 1980
This song is about the South African anti-apartheid veteran Steve Biko, who in 1977 was killed by police officers while in custody for related political reasons. Gabriel took note of the killing and began studying Biko, reading three biographies about him. For this song, instead of telling the story from Biko's perspective, Gabriel takes a third person observer approach. He explained in an interview with Sound to promote the album: "It's a white, middle-class, ex-public schoolboy, domesticated, English person observing his own reactions from afar. It seemed impossible to me that the South Africans had let him be killed when there had been so much international publicity about his imprisonment. He was very intelligent, well reasoned and not full of hate. His writings seemed very solid in a way that polarized politics often doesn't."
International Community Pressures South Africa to end Apartheid
1974 expelled from the UN
1976 banned from the Olympics
1986 US companies banned from new investments
Sun City, 1985
by Artists United Against Apartheid
Sun City was a resort in South Africa that catered to wealthy white tourists. Many famous entertainers performed there despite the racist Apartheid policy. Artists United Against Apartheid was organized by "Little Steven" Van Zandt, who discovered Sun City when he traveled to Africa after leaving Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band in 1985.
The following paragraph is from:
Sun City is a large casino resort in the north-west of South Africa. During the apartheid years it was located in 'independent' state of Bophuthatswana, a phony political construct that enabled white South Africans to visit a casino, gamble and attend strip shows, even though these activities were illegal within South Africa itself. Although the United Nations had placed a cultural ban on artists touring or performing in South Africa, many notable American and European acts ignored this and received large sums to perform at Sun City's massive auditorium. Amongst those to defy the ban included Linda Ronstadt, Queen, Laura Branigan, Rod Stewart, Julio Iglesias - and, ironically, black singers such as Ray Charles, Dionne Warwick and Boney M. As a result, Van Zandt's song continually insists that "I ain't gonna play Sun City."
This was one of the first collaborations among major recording stars to support a political, rather than a social cause. The project raised over $1 million dollars for anti-Apartheid efforts.
Hip-Hop pioneer Kurtis Blow was one of the musicians who performed on this. He told us about the experience:
"That was a blessing, just incredible. Stevie calls everybody together. He calls me up and says, 'Hey I want you to do this song about the plight in South Africa. We're not going to play Sun City and we want everybody to know about the injustices that are going on down there. We need to let everyone know that we're not happy and we're not going to play in South Africa until things are changed over there.' Stevie Van Zandt was united in this thing. We jumped at the chance to be a part of it. It was too strong a cause for us to turn down. Then you have this white cat who's doing it, this is really what America stands for. A lot of people opened their eyes when that song came out."
Bruce Springsteen, Miles Davis, Kool DJ Herc, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Ruben Blades, Bob Dylan, Herbie Hancock, Ringo Starr and his son Zak Starkey, Lou Reed, Run DMC, Peter Gabriel, David Ruffin, Eddie Kendricks, Darlene Love, Bobby Womack, Afrika Bambaataa, Kurtis Blow, Jackson Browne and then-girlfriend Daryl Hannah, U2, George Clinton, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, Bonnie Raitt, Hall & Oates, Jimmy Cliff, Big Youth, Michael Monroe, Peter Garrett, Ron Carter, Ray Barretto, Gil-Scott Heron, Nona Hendryx, Pete Townshend, Pat Benatar, and Joey Ramone.
The end of Apartheid, 1991
[The international community condemned apartheid but U.S. State Department official, Chester A. Crocker points out that] the most important push for change in South Africa came not from outsiders like the U.S., but from within. "You need leaders to make peace," he says. "It takes guts."
Those leaders were South Africa's last President under apartheid, F.W. de Klerk, and Nelson Mandela. Seeing that apartheid was not only isolating his nation, but robbing it of the talents of its black workers, de Klerk released Mandela from jail in 1990, ended restrictions on black political groups, and began negotiations toward democracy and majority rule.
On June 17, 1991, South Africa's Parliament voted to repeal the legal framework for apartheid.
1991: The End of Apartheid, By Michael Wines
Road to Democracy
On April 27-28, 1994, South Africa held two days of peaceful elections, with millions of black South Africans voting in a national election for the first time. Nelson Mandela was elected president.