All Articles Tagged "Apartheid"
Like many the world over, yesterday’s news of Nelson Mandela’s passing at the age of 95 left me in awe. Not only because we were forced to say goodbye to the anti-apartheid icon but just four days prior I had just returned from Nelson Mandela’s homeland of South Africa. So the former president of South Africa’s death was surreal, hitting me in a way it likely wouldn’t have before.
Just last Monday, I visited Robben Island in Cape Town where Mandela was imprisoned as a political prisoner for 18 of his 27 years behind bars and even saw the inside of Mandela’s 8 x 7-foot prison cell.
On Wednesday, I stopped by Nelson Mandela Square, an open public space with a towering statue of Mandela himself adjacent to Sandton City, which houses some of the finest shops and restaurants in South Africa.
This past Saturday, I visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg where I got a firsthand account of the rise and fall of apartheid, a former policy of racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against blacks in South Africa, and the temporary Mandela exhibition where I got a closer glimpse into the life of the first black president of South Africa. I then visited the Mandela House, the former home of Mandela from 1946-1962, in Soweto.
As I got ready to depart South Africa on Sunday, I rode across the iconic Nelson Mandela Bridge (which was symbolically named after Mandela for his role in uniting South African society) before saying goodbye to the country I fell in love with in eight short days. I never could have imagined that the world would be bidding farewell to Mandela himself a few days later.
Having the opportunity to literally walk in the footsteps of Mandela and so many other South Africans who suffered through apartheid between 1948 and 1994 was a surreal experience—even more so now. To become fully immersed in Mandela’s powerful impact on not just South Africa but the rest of the world and learn of his passing in the same week was quite the shock at first but I then realized that his transition should be a celebration, not a time of grief.
Read more at StyleBlazer.com
If you were wondering if Idris Elba would be able to pull off the role political icon Nelson Mandela, the full length trailer for Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has finally been released.
In the clip, we get to see a glimpse of the love story between Nelson and Winnie (played by actress Naomie Watts) as well as the political uprising that occurred in South Africa during that time. As we all know, Mandela was and continues to be the biggest force behind social change there.
Although the film doesn’t open until January, the buzz around it has been huge. It seems like everyone is talking about it. If it plays out as well as many hope, Long Walk To Freedom could raise Elba’s Hollywood “stock” even higher. He’s already having a great year, having been part of some of this summer’s biggest blockbusters.
It looks like Naomie Watts will do a really good job as Winnie but since the focus is on Idris, what do you think of what you saw? What do you think of his accent?
Check out the trailer below.
With a chaotic media frenzy crowding the hospital that houses former South African President Nelson Mandela, his oldest daughter Makaziwe is fed up. She simply wants the media, who are anxious to snap newsworthy photos and grab juicy interviews, to leave her ailing father in peace, reports the Huffington Post.
“Vultures” is what she called the foreign media in a South African interview. Makaziwe looked down on them for invading the privacy of her revolutionary anti-apartheid leader father.
“They are standing right there in the aisle,” she told the interviewer. “You cannot even enter [the] hospital and you can’t even go out of the hospital because they are making themselves such a nuisance.”
Makaziwe adds that if people truly care about Mandela, then they should respect him. She went so far as to refer to the media as “racist.” She notes that the media didn’t react so intensely for the death of Margaret Thatcher—a former White British prime minister. “I don’t know how people come here and violate everything,” she said in International Business Times. “When Margaret Thatcher was sick in [the] hospital, I didn’t see this kind of media frenzy where people crossed boundaries.”
She likened the media to the animal world — lurkers who wait for the lion to devour the buffalo, “waiting there for the last of the carcass,” The Week added.
While President Barack Obama was traveling to South Africa yesterday, he and the First Lady met with members of Mandela’s family. In accordance with their wishes, he didn’t visit Mandela in the hospital.
“I expressed my hope that Madiba draws peace and comfort from the time that he is spending with loved ones, and also expressed my heartfelt support for the entire family as they work through this difficult time. I also reaffirmed the profound impact that his legacy has had in building a free South Africa, and in inspiring people around the world – including me,” said the President in a statement.
On the condition of her father, Makaziwe says that “it doesn’t look good, I’m not going to lie,” in the interview. This is contrary to Winnie Madikizela-Mandela’s recent statement about Mandela showing improvement. But, according to Makaziwe, “when you touch him, he responds and I think for us, as his progeny, as long as [Mandela] is still responding…I think that gives us hope.”
Even as Mandela clings to life, the family drama continues, with his grandson Mandla (who’s also the chief of the Mvezo area in the Eastern Cape Province) fighting to have the bodies of three of Mandela’s deceased children moved. The family dispute was prompted by Mandela’s request to be buried next to them, reports the Los Angeles Times.
Today, on what would have been her 81st birthday, Google honored South African civil rights activist, [Zenzile ] Miriam Makeba, also known as “Mama Africa.” The Johannesburg native spent 50 years fighting against apartheid in South Africa and exposing the west to South African music. She became the first African woman to win a Grammy for her work with fellow activist Harry Belafonte but was best known for her song “Pata Pata.”
Her outspokenness about apartheid was not well received at home. She lived abroad in London and the U.S. When she attempted to return home for her mother’s funeral in 1960, the South African government had terminated her passport, thereby forcing her into exile. Makeba is famously, quoted as saying this about being exiled:
“I always wanted to leave home,” she told author Hank Bordowitz. “I never knew they were going to stop me from coming back. Maybe, if I knew, I never would have left. It is kind of painful to be away from everything that you’ve ever known. Nobody will know the pain of exile until you are in exile. No matter where you go, there are times when people show you kindness and love, and there are times when they make you know that you are with them but not of them. That’s when it hurts.”
Over the years Guinea, Belgium and Ghana issued Makeba international passports. Throughout her life, she held nine passports and was granted honorary citizenship in 10 countries.
The fact that she was booted out of her homeland didn’t stop her from fighting. She spoke out against apartheid in front of the United Nations in 1963. She also campaigned to get Nelson Mandela out of prison.
When he was released, Mandela convinced Makeba to come back to South Africa using her French passport.
When apartheid ended in 1991, Makeba still performed around the world. The day of her death, in 2008, she performed at a concert in Italy. After she performed her hit song “Pata Pata,” she suffered a heart attack and was taken to a clinic where doctors were unable to revive her.
If you’re unfamiliar with Makeba’s music listen to her song “Pata Pata” on the next page. It’s pretty awesome.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela is still in the hospital as he recovers from surgery to remove gall stones, ABC News reports.
Mandela was flown to an unnamed hospital in the city of Pretoria on December 8th with no details as to why he was going. The government made an announcement that he was just going to to the hospital for medical testing, giving no indication as to why he needed to be flown to a hospital for said tests. However, they said Saturday that the doctors found gall stones that needed to be removed.
The doctors also said Mandiba, as Mandela is affectionately known, also has a lung infection that needs to be treated. However, they feel tat doing the surgery first would be better and safer.
The 94 year old Mandela has been hospitalized a couple of times over the last year – in January 2011 for a lung infection and earlier this year for abdominal pains – but this is the longest he’s ever been in the hospital.
Although he’s no longer president, there is no question that Mandela is still South Africa’s most revered person. To that end, the media always wants to be updated with full details about his health and whereabouts. These recent health issues have caused a serious rift between the government and the media because the government initially said that Mandela was at a military hospital but then said he was at an undisclosed private hospital. Further, they stated they will not release the name of the hospital in order to respect the privacy of the family.
The Office of the Presidency released a statement saying the surgery was successful and that Mandela is recovering.
Two separate lawsuits alleging racial discrimination were filed in federal court in New York on Friday, against Bank of America and investment bank Cantor Fitzgerald.
Jack Mitchell, who is black and worked as a manager at Bank of America from February 2007 to July 2008, alleges the bank maintained an “apartheid” system of business allocation, believing white clients would not want to be served by African American employees.
Under this system, Mitchell alleges, employees such as himself were routinely assigned to branches in low-income black communities, negatively affecting his compensation. Mitchell claims he was fired in retaliation for complaining about “the bank’s racist practices.”
Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin declined to comment on the suit but said that “diversity and inclusion are part of Bank of America’s culture and core values.”
Mitchell is seeking damages of not less than $10 million.
Read about the other racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Bank of America on BlackVoices.com.
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Famed Author Alice Walker is making headlines for her refusal to authorize an all-Hebrew version of the classic book The Color Purple, the 1982 novel about inhuman treatment of a poor black girl in the rural South.
The 68-year old acclaimed author and activist recently sent a letter to Yediot Books, an Israeli publishing house, politely requesting that her book not be republished “at this time” because of Israel’s inhumane treatment of its neighbors in Palestine. In the letter, which was also published on the website of the “Palestine Campaign for the Academic & Cultural Boycott of Israel,” Walker writes:
“Thank you so much for wishing to publish my novel THE COLOR PURPLE. It isn’t possible for me to permit this at this time for the following reason: As you may know, last Fall in South Africa the Russell Tribunal on Palestine met and determined that Israel is guilty of apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people, both inside Israel and also in the Occupied Territories. The testimony we heard, both from Israelis and Palestinians (I was a jurist) was devastating. I grew up under American apartheid and this was far worse. Indeed, many South Africans who attended, including Desmond Tutu, felt the Israeli version of these crimes is worse even than what they suffered under the white supremacist regimes that dominated South Africa for so long.
It is my hope that the non-violent BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement, of which I am part, will have enough of an impact on Israeli civilian society to change the situation.”
The letter also goes on to mention the personal significance of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning novel, “to rid humanity of its self-destructive habit of dehumanizing whole populations” including Walker’s insistence that the film version not be shown in apartheid South African. She writes, “I lobbied against this idea because, as with Israel today, there was a civil society movement of BDS aimed at changing South Africa’s apartheid policies and, in fact, transforming the government.”
Walker roots in the BDS movement against Israel can be traced back to her nuptials to a Jewish law student in 1967 when she started learning more about the sorted history of the country, this according to an interview with Foreign Policy magazine. Last year, she would join the flotilla of ships, which sought to break Israel’s maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip in hopes of bringing supplies and raising awareness of the situation there. Already, pro-Israel groups are jumping on Walker, accusing her of being Anti-Semitic, including right-wing conservative blogger Debbie Schlussel, who called Walker’s act a far-left pronouncement from a “self-important Ms. Thang” and “excessively-hyped, lesbionic screedist.”
However, Walker is not the only artist willing to take a stand against the heavy-handed practices of Israel. Artists Against Apartheid, an international alliance committed to equal rights and justice, as well as the elimination of apartheid worldwide, has also called for cultural boycotts of Israel and is supported by hundreds of artists around the world, including former Pink Floyd front man Roger Waters, Carlos Santana and Elvis Costello.
The Israeli conflict/occupation is now in its fifth decade. Despite international pressure for Israel to stop the of expansion of its original stated 1948 boundaries, that country continues to increase the number of settlements into Palestinian territories – often times by military force and in violation of international law. This has resulted in not only the displacement of Palestinians from their homes but also a wave of violence from both sides including suicide bombings by Palestinians within Israel and the death of thousands of civilians along the Gaza Strip.
Former South African president Nelson Mandela is reportedly in stable condition Saturday after undergoing surgery for an abdominal complaint. Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj told South African private news channel eNews that the 93-year-old former statesman is “in good spirits and well.”
As the country’s first black president after a history of white minority rule, the BBC’s Andrew Harding in Johannesburg says Mr Mandela occupies a special place in the hearts of South Africans. The Nobel Peace Prize winner is affectionately known in South Africa by his clan name, Madiba. He spent 27 years in prison for his fight against white minority rule before being released in 1990. In 1994, he became South Africa’s first black president, stepping down in 1999 after one term.
(BET) — It’s been about 35 years since South Africa’s youth revolt against apartheid, the racial segregation system that served to oppress the nation’s Black majority. But now, South Africa could be facing another uprising, this time due to high levels of youth unemployment, according to one of South Africa’s top union officials. In fact, during the recent interview with CNN, Zwelinzima Vavi, general secretary of the Congress of South African trade unions, also likened such a rebellion to the Arab spring from earlier this year (which saw longtime leaders from Egypt and Tunisia get booted), warning that the nation could stand to become the “new Egypt.” “If we don’t do something urgent enough with the crisis of youth unemployment in South Africa we will be in Tunisia and Egypt very soon,” he said during the interview.
Today the world is celebrating the birthday of Nelson Mandela, an icon of freedom who continues to inspire even though he has retired from public life. Now 93, this recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize is being commemorated widely and creatively on his special day.
A rousing rendition of “Happy Birthday” has been sung for him by 12 million South African school children. Bikers in South Africa have toured the nation doing good in the name of the man who spent 27 years in prison as a beacon of hope against the tyranny of racial oppression. Fellow human rights leader Desmond Tutu came out of retirement to give an interview in honor of his friend and fellow revolutionary. President Obama sent birthday wishes to the great man. And, in one of the most modern expressions of appreciation, the youth arm of the ANC is encouraging all to change their Facebook profile pictures to reflect Mandela today, to show the leader how much he means to all.
Yes, Mandela’s 93rd birthday is touching the lives of millions, even though his frail condition prevents him from interacting with us. Mandela will be celebrating privately today with family at his home in the village of Qunu. But that doesn’t mean you, too, have to quietly rest.