Apartheid in South Africa

Apartheid: An Overview

Apartheid is the Dutch word for "separateness", which is exactly what non-whites in South Africa went through during the 2000th century, for about 50 years. There were many unfair laws for the non-whites; they had to use different facilities, live in different neighborhoods according to their classification, and to visit a white community, they needed a passport. Some of these rules were very similar to the Jim Crow laws that the U.S. faced. Just like the U.S., there were protests and leaders, the most well-known easily being Nelson Mandela. Eventually, in 1991, the current president of South Africa, F. W. Klerk, began put an end to apartheid. However, South Africa still faces problems, many of which began with apartheid.

Causes and Implementation

South Africa, even before apartheid, was very racist to non-whites. In 1913, the 1913 land act was put into action. This act separated the black Africans from everyone else. After World War 2 and the Great Depression, South Africa suffered severe economic losses, which convinced the government to strengthen the pre-exsisting segregation. Apartheid was the slogan of the Afrikaner National Party, whose goal was to completely separate South America's white minority from everyone else. In 1941, their goal was achieved, creating apartheid.

Rules and Protests

Even before apartheid began, whites and non-whites had to live in separate communities. However, after the creation of apartheid, the government began separating the non-whites into different categories; Bantu (black Africans), Colored (mixed race) and Asians. These three categories had to use different facilities, live in completely different neighborhoods, and to visit a white community, they needed a passport. In addition, their schools and jobs weren't has good and they were not permitted to vote.

http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~cale/cs201/pictures/table.jpg A chart comparing white and non-whites lives in South Africa

As expected, many people disagreed with these rules and began to protest. There were many non-violent protests and violent protests. Protests got so bad to the point where the government hired police officers to shoot and arrest the protesters. There were many massacres of unarmed protesters who were shot dead. However, people still continued to protest, even when their big leaders (such as Nelson Mandela) were arrested and sentenced to life in prison.

http://questgarden.com/102/98/8/100503192219/images/page_4b_w300_h218.jpg A group of protesters in South Africa

http://www.southafrica-travel.net/Medaia/Toilets.jpg A bathroom sign depicting that white and non-whites had to use separate bathrooms

The Abolition of Apartheid

Nelson Mandela was in jail for 27 years before he was released by F. W. Klerk. Klerk was against apartheid, and so, as President of South Africa, he abolished it. Nelson was also helping too. After his release, he began negotiating with Klerk about the abolishment of apartheid. 3 years later, apartheid was no more and the two received Noble Peace Prizes for their efforts.

https://media1.britannica.com/eb-media/67/75567-004-6585DB51.jpg Nelson Mandela after he was released from prison

https://www.biography.com/.image/c_fill,cs_srgb,dpr_1.0,g_face,h_300,q_80,w_300/MTE5NTU2MzE2MTk3MTI3Njkx/fw-deklerk-9270025-1-402.jpg F. W. Klerk, the South African who (with Mandela) ended apartheid

Lasting Effects

Apartheid is easily one of the biggest racial segregation issues to occur. Despite apartheid being outlawed almost twenty years ago, South Africa still suffers from political corruption, white supremacist violence, and economic inequity. These all have roots in apartheid.

Video Links

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnJD09cPWD8 A mini-biography featuring the highlights of Mandela's life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7yvnUz2PLE A summary of the rules of apartheid, and what the people faced

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