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Use with Section B, Activity 3 of the lesson on Racial Discrimination


South Africa was colonized by the Dutch and English in the seventeenth century. Over the following centuries, the white settlers used force to take control of the land and establish a system of domination over Africans who originally inhabited the region.

When the country gained independence from Britain in 1910, the new constitution put political control in the hands of the white minority and institutionalized discrimination against Africans, who made up 80% of the population.

The system of apartheid -- literally, "apartness" -- enforced the separation of South Africa's whites from the blacks, Asians, and people of mixed race. This discriminatory system was carried out through political, economic, and social institutions and continued through the early 1990s.

Student Directions for the Apartheid Timeline

1. Your teacher will give you a piece of paper that describes key events in South African history. Take the selection and pass it around in your group. Take note of the years represented by your selection. In this activity, you will become an expert on your selection, illustrate and summarize key events from it, and present your work to your classmates.

2. Take turns reading the selection within your group. Each person should read one passage aloud, then pass the paper to the next person.

3. After each paragraph is read, the group should decide if the paragraph describes discrimination, resistance to it, or both. Write your decision next to each paragraph. Note: Be sure to include attempts to resist discrimination that failed or were prevented.

4. Draw at least two pictures to of key events from your selection. If possible, include a drawing that shows an example of discrimination, and another that shows examples of protest or resistance. If applicable, you can also show acts of resistance that failed. (In this case, be sure to tell why they failed.) If your selection included photos, you can add those to your work as well.

5. Write a summary of your drawing. Include important dates, names of laws, names of people, and other key facts. DO NOT copy directly from the reading itself. Write your summaries on a separate piece of paper and attach them to your drawings.

6. Choose a spokesperson to present your work to the class. Be ready to discuss examples of both discrimination and resistance.

Analysis and discussion:

· Give examples of discrimination carried out through economic, social, and political institutions.
· What prevented the early resistance efforts of Africans from being effective?
· Describe some key acts of resistance against apartheid.
· Describe the role of the international community in ending apartheid.
· Describe some of the economic tactics used to protest apartheid.

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