Apartheid in South Africa

"Racism is mans gravest threat to man...the maximum of hatred for a minimum reason." -- Abraham Heschel

The Apartheid. An experience that left thousands of Black South Africans without rights, property, and even lives. Although original in its name, the ideas were not original in itself. The ordeal dates back to 1652 when the early Dutch settlers moved into Black territory on a mission to "change the order of civilization" (Rotberg 18). "Boers" (Rotberg; 18) as the Dutch called themselves, took up "an extreme fundamentalist Calvinist interpretation of religion" (Rotberg 19). This religion entails that one be a "ruler of all" (Rotberg 20). In 1795, English rule came over the Dutch resulting in a conflict between English settlers and Dutch (Afrikaner) settlers. Both groups empowered South Africa and did not share the power equally. In the early 1900s there was a heated battle over the discovery of diamonds which marked a victory for the Dutch (Rotberg 18). However this victory was not won simply by themselves. Black South Africans assisted in the war. From this, the Dutch felt they needed to reform stricter prohibitions for the Blacks to follow; resulting in another reason to separate the Whites from the Non-Whites: quoted by a British Native Administrator, "it was needed to transform warriors (Blacks) into laborers working for wages" (Dugard, Haysom, and Marcus 25). Blacks were considered warriors because of their "battle with the British and Dutch" (Dugard, Haysom, and Marcus 25). The Dutch, who then changed their name to the Afrikaner National Party, did so as a means to separate themselves from the English as well as ensure social and economical dominations towards all Blacks. This name stayed with them until the late 1940s ...

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...e society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if the needs be it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die"- Nelson Mandela, freed prisoner after the Apartheid came to an end ( Gordimer, Goldblatt 92).


Dugard, John, Nicholas Haysom, and Gilbert Marcus. The Last Years of Apartheid: Civil Liberties in South Africa. United States of America: Ford Foundation, 1992.

Gordimer, Nadine, David Goldblatt. Lifetimes Under Apartheid. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1986.

Pomeroy, William J. Apartheid, Imperialism, and African Freedom. New York: International Publishers, 1986.

Neame, L.E. The History of Apartheid. New York: London House and Maxwell, 1962.

Rotberg, Robert I. Ending Autocracy, Enabling Democracy. Cambridge: World Peace Foundation, 2002.
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