Reactions to Oppression in Jamaica and South Africa

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Reactions to Oppression in Jamaica and South Africa

"Bob Marley said

How long shall they kill our prophets

While we stand aside and look

Little did he know that eventually

The enemy will stand aside and look

While we slash and kill our own brothers

Knowing that already they are the victims of the situation"

Lucky Dube, Victims

Lucky Dube is a reggae artist from South Africa singing in a fight against oppression in his country. Like Jamaica, South Africa has been oppressed since the days of the European colonizers. The only difference is some Africans lost their land and others were stolen from their land. In this paper, the reactions of Africans (Jamaicans included) to oppression will be surveyed through politics, religion, and music. This will be done through a comparison of these ideas between South Africa and Jamaica. Both these countries have been subjected to nearly 400 years of oppression of Europeans over Africans.

The oppression of the indigenous people of South Africa began with the colonization by the Dutch through the Dutch East India Company. The cape of South Africa proved to be a perfect resting spot for ships on their course from Holland or India. (Lapping, p. 1-2) Conflict was inevitable and finally after 7 years of settlement the indigenous Khoikhoi attacked the colony. The Khoikhioi could not match the firearms of the Dutch. (Lapping, p. 3) Van Riebeek, who proceeded over the colony had now gained superiority over the indigenous people, imported slaves, and settled the freeburghers. The freeburghers were settled on large farms, which required strong laborers. This is where the slaves came in handy since the colony did not like the Khoikhoi labor. As the freeburghers and the slaves married, a population called the Cape coloreds arose. No more Dutch were sent since this was to be a refreshing post. In 1688, after an outbreak of religious persecution in France, some two hundred French Hugeuenots arrived. (Lapping, p. 3-5)

As the colony grew, the farmers (Boers) began to move forward inland. The conflicts between them and the indigenous people increased. By 1702, fights began breaking out with another indigenous culture, the Xhosa. The white mans claim to the land, ‘We were here first.’ This is however not true because the Portuguese had traded with the Xhosa before the Dutch arrived. These were not the only inhabitants of the interior, there were as the Sotho, which are now present day Botswanans and the Zulu.
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