All Articles Tagged "Apartheid"
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.
South Africa’s former president and beloved leader, Nelson Mandela, celebrates his 93rd birthday today.
Throughout South Africa, millions are celebrating the day. This morning more than 12 million students sang a remixed version of “Happy Birthday” to the anti-apartheid advocate before going to class.
Two years ago, the U.N. declared Mandela’s birthday “Nelson Mandela International Day”. It’s a day dedicated to community service and people across the world are volunteering in their communities for 67 minutes- one minute for every year Mandela spent in public service.
On Sunday, President Obama called Mandela “a beacon for the global community, and for all who work for democracy, justice and reconciliation.”
Mandela is spending the day with his family in Qunu, his home village.
(Bloomberg) — Julius Malema, the youth leader of South Africa’s ruling party, yesterday stepped up demands for the nationalization of mines and banks, triggering cheers from more than 5,000 delegates at a conference. The government needs to take control of banks such as Standard Bank Group Ltd., Nedbank Ltd. and First National Bank to fund investment in other areas of the economy, Malema said at the end of a four-day meeting in Johannesburg that saw his election for a second term. “We’re going to war comrades,” he said as the country’s Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe looked on from the stage. “A war for radical policy shift.” Malema, 30, wants to increase the role of the state in the economy to combat youth unemployment, poverty and inequality, which has changed little since the end of white minority rule in 1994. He threatened to withdraw support from anyone in the African National Congress who defended big business.
In less than six weeks, dozens of teams, hundreds of television crews and thousands of journalists will travel to South Africa for the World Cup, perhaps the most popular sporting event in the world, and the biggest global sports event ever held in Africa. For South Africa, the pivotal question is: how will this event change and enhance the brand of a nation once defined by apartheid, then by Nelson Mandela?