Friday, June 16, 2006

Soweto: 30 years later

This essay is part of a (more or less) weekly feature on this blog that presents interesting stories from elsewhere in the world, particularly Africa, that are little reported in the American media. It's part of my campaign to get people to realize there is a lot going on in the world outside the US, Israel, Iraq and Iran*. (*-added on the suggestion of a reader)

Today is the 30th anniversary of the Soweto massacre. In 1976, the racist apartheid government imposed Afrikaans as the sole language of education. Thousands of black South African students took to the streets to protest. Over 300 peaceful student protesters were slaughtered in Soweto (a township of Johannensburg) by the regime's forces of disorder and over 100 more in other parts of the country. It was an important event in the anti-apartheid movement that really re-launched blacks' struggle for freedom and liberty in the country. The act of state terrorism was a major black eye for the regime and really caused the beginning of its deserved isolation.

US National Public Radio ran an excellent radio documentary on the anniversary.

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