Soweto Uprising and Apartheid in South Africa

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Soweto Uprising and Apartheid in South Africa

South Africa is a proud nation that can claim to be one of the most influential nations on the African continent. Its economic power, technological advancement and standard of living is unrivaled by its brother African nations. However, all of this is plagued by a brutal system of racial repression that dominated much of its history. South Africa was a stunning example of a modern nation where a minority had such a great deal of power over a staggering majority. The word Apartheid is Afrikaans for separateness. This separateness was South Africa’s legal system of racial segregation that was enforced from 1948 until 1994. The way this system worked was that citizens where broken down into four racial classifications and received benefits or restrictions based on this. The four groups where; White, Black, Colored and Indian, where the White’s held absolute power and authority, which was enforced by the constitution. Under this system almost everything was segregated including health care, education and public amenities, where the standards for whites and non whites were in sharp contrast. Because of this terrible treatment of non whites, blacks and other racial groups became quite disenfranchised with the ruling party of South Africa. In 1950, the National Party created a Colored Affairs Department and one of their first acts was to strip blacks and coloreds of their voting rights in Cape Province. Four voters challenged this act’s validity but it was upheld in court by a two- thirds majority. This obviously set the precedent for the stripping of natural rights and freedoms for non whites in South Africa.

Just as in any other cultural conflict, there were those who were willing to fight for what they thought was right. South Africa has many such examples in regards to apartheid, but the Soweto uprising of 1976 is one of the most famous. This conflict started out as a peaceful one, the blacks of Soweto...
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