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APARTHEID TIMELINE
Use with the handout "Introduction to Apartheid", used in Section B of the lesson on Racial Discrimination


Directions for teacher:


· Cut the timeline into strips as indicated by the dotted lines.

· Divide students into groups and give each group one strip. Directions for the activity are provided on the handout "Introduction to Apartheid."



Selection 1
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1651: Dutch settlers arrive in South Africa. In 1756, they import slaves from West Africa, Malaysia, and India, establishing the dominance of whites over non-whites in the region.

· 1700s: Riding on horseback and covered wagons, Dutch farmers (called Boers) migrate across land inhabited by Bantu and Khoi peoples. Armed with shotguns, the Boers seize land used by the tribes for cattle and sheep grazing -- the basis of their economy. Without land, the tribes must work on Boer farms to support themselves.

· 1810s: British missionaries arrive and criticize the racist practises of the Boers. They urge the Boers to treat the Africans more fairly. Boers justify their practises in the belief that they are superior to Africans.

· 1867: Diamond mining begins in South Africa. Africans are given the most dangerous jobs, are paid far less than white workers, and are housed in fenced, patrolled barracks. Oppressive conditions and constant surveillance keep Africans from organizing for better wages and working conditions.



Selection 2
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1908: A constitutional convention is held to establish South African independence from Britain. The all-white government decides that non-whites can vote but cannot hold office. A few people in the new government object, believing that South Africa would be more stable if Africans were treated better.

· 1910: The South Africa Act takes away all political rights of Africans in three of the country's four states.

· 1912: The African National Congress is formed. This political party aims to organize Africans in the struggle for civil rights. The early leaders are pictured on the right.

· 1913: The Native Lands Act gives 7.3% of the country's land to Africans, who make up 80% of the population. Africans are prohibited from owning land outside their region. Africans are allowed to be on white land only if they are working for whites.




Selection 3
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1920s: Blacks are fired from jobs which are given to whites.

· 1910s-1930s: Africans educated at missionary schools attempt to organize to resist white rule and gain political power. Their efforts are weakened because few Africans are literate, communication is poor, and access to money or other resources is limited.

· By 1939, fewer than 30% of Africans are receiving any formal education, and whites are earning over five times as much as Africans.

· 1936: Representation of Voters Act: This law weakens the political rights for Africans in some regions and allows them to vote only for white representatives.



Selection 4
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1946: African mine workers are paid twelve times less than their white counterparts and are forced to do the most dangerous jobs. Over 75,000 Africans go on strike in support of higher wages. Police use violence to force the unarmed workers back to their jobs. Over 1000 workers are injured or killed.

· 1950: The Population Registration Act. This law classifies people into three racial groups: white, colored (mixed race or Asian), and native (African/black). Marriages between races are outlawed in order to maintain racial purity.

· 1953: The Preservation of Separate Amenities Act establishes "separate but not necessarily equal" parks, beaches, post offices, and other public places for whites and non-whites. At right are signs for segregated toilets in English and Afrikaans.

Source: http://suedafrika.net/Medaia/Toilets.jpg



 

Selection 5
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1951: The Group Areas Act sets aside specific communities for each of the races (white, colored (mixed race or Indian), and native (African/black) ). The best areas and the majority of the land are reserved for whites. Non-whites are relocated into "reserves." Mixed-race families are forced to live separately.

· 1951: The Bantu Homelands Act. Through this law, the white government declares that the lands reserved for black Africans are independent nations. In this way, the government strips millions of blacks of their South African citizenship and forces them to become residents of their new "homelands." Blacks are now considered foreigners in white-controlled South Africa, and need passports to enter. Blacks only enter to serve whites in menial jobs.



· The homelands are too small to support the many people in them. In Soweto, for example, seventeen to twenty people live in a four-room house. Typical living conditions are shown in the picture above.

· The African National Congress (ANC), a political organization for Africans, encourages peaceful resistance to the discriminatory laws of apartheid. The ANC issues a Freedom Charter that states, "South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of the people." The government reacts by arresting people and passing more repressive laws.




Selection 6
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1952: Abolition of Passes and Coordination of Documents Act. This misleadingly-named law requires all Africans to carry identification booklets with their names, addresses, fingerprints, and other information. (See picture at right.) Africans are frequently stopped and harassed for their passes. Between 1948-1973, over ten million Africans were arrested because their passes were "not in order." Burning pass books becomes a common form of protest.

· 1960: A large group of blacks in the town of Sharpeville refused to carry their passes. The government declares a state of emergency and responds with fines, imprisonment, and whippings. In all, 69 people die and 187 people are wounded. The African political organizations, the African National Congress and the Pan-African Congress, are banned.

· 1962: The United Nations establishes the Special Committee Against Apartheid to support a political process of peaceful change. The Special Committee observes the International Day Against Racism to mark the anniversary of the people who died in the Sharpeville protest.

· 1963: Nelson Mandela, head of the African National Congress, is jailed.



Selection 7
(Note: The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1953: Preservation of Separate Amenities Act. This law created "separate but not necessarily equal" beaches, parks, post office, and other public places for Africans (blacks), coloreds (the term used for Asian and mixed-raced people) and whites.

· 1953: Bantu Education Act: Through this law, the white government supervises the education of all blacks. Schools condition blacks to accept white domination. Non-whites cannot attend white universities.

· 1970s: Resistance to apartheid increases. Organizing by churches and workers increases. Whites join blacks in the demonstrations.

· 1970s: The all-black South African Students Organization, under the leadership of Steven Biko, helps unify students through the Black Consciousness movement. A typical protest poster is shown below.





· 1976: The Soweto uprising: People in Soweto riot and demonstrate against discrimination and instruction in Afrikaans, the language of whites descended from the Dutch. The police react with gunfire. 575 people are killed and thousands are injured and arrested. Steven Biko is beaten and left in jail to die from his injuries. Protesters against apartheid link arms in a show of resistance.



Selection 8

(Note: This selection has examples of resistance only. The term "Africans" is used to refer to black Africans.)

· 1980s: People and governments around the world launch an international campaign to boycott (not do business with) South Africa. Some countries ban the import of South African products, and citizens of many countries pressure major companies to pull out of South Africa.

These actions have a crippling effect on the South African economy and weaken the government. The picture on the right shows a demonstration against the company Chase Manhattan.

· 1980s: Hundreds of thousands of Africans who are banned from white-controlled areas ignore the laws and pour into forbidden regions in search of work. Civil disobedience, demonstrations, and other acts of protest increase.

· late 1980s: Countries around the world increasingly pressure South Africa to end its system of apartheid. As a result, some of the segregationist laws are repealed (reversed). For example, the laws separating whites and non-whites in public places are relaxed or repealed.

 

· 1991: South Africa President F.W. de Klerk repeals the rest of the apartheid laws and calls for the drafting of a new constitution.

· 1993: A multiracial, multiparty transitional government is approved.

· 1994: Elections are held. The United Nations sends 2,120 international observers to ensure the fairness of the elections. The African National Congress, representing South Africa's majority black population. Nelson Mandela, the African resistance leader who had been jailed for 27 years, is elected President.

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