South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid
The New York Times; May 24, 1999 - "The harassment of innocent black motorist has become an issue in California, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and elsewhere. But the most instructive case is that of Maryland which has been embroiled in the matter since 1992.... Black motorists account for 17 percent of the traffic and the same percentage of speeders - along Interstate 95 in northeastern Maryland. But the data collected by the police show that 77 percent of the motorists who were stopped and searched between 1995 and 1997 were minority drivers who were no more likely to be guilty of anything than were the whites who were stopped. The statistics are stark and compelling. Disparities clearly exist in the rates of incarceration for Blacks and Whites in America. The high rates of imprisonment for Blacks has been called a crisis in the Black community - destroying families and social networks for generations to come. How do we as Americans support racial inequality in our criminal justice system? How is this different from some White South Africans who insist that they were not responsible for apartheid? Consider Sharon Welgemoed's assertion in the film that she was an inocent victim of violence and did not support apartheid and cannot be held responsible for the atrocities that happened. Though many might recoil in horror when listening to Sharon's justification, are we really so different from her?"
Free Africa papers, essays, and research papers
In South Africa, the same process that generated wealth and a high standard of living for Whites created Black poverty and underdevelopment. Members of the White minority used state force, power and resources to enrich themselves, while systematically denying equal education, employment opportunities, healthcare, housing, land title and other basic democratic rights - even citizenship - to Blacks. Blacks had no rights that White South Africans were bound to respect.
American observers of South African apartheid and the TRC may be compelled to point at South Africa as a country that has much work to do in terms of healing the injustices of racism. When we draw our gaze back home to the US, what do we find? Are we more advanced than South Africa in our work to combat racism? With the dismantling of Jim Crow and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement, is our task in this country complete? Recent facts and figures about the American criminal justice system and rates of incarceration for Blacks suggest that we are, in fact, far from finished in our struggle to end institutionalized forms of racism in this country.
Archives Direct - Adam Matthew Digital
Long Night's Journey into Day is a film about ending apartheid racism and the process of reconciliation in South Africa. In another sense it is a film about racism and the difficulty of reconciliation in the United States.
Apartheid South Africa 1948-1980
Observers of South Africa's TRC note that many who were victimized are prepared to forgive police officers and public officials from the apartheid regime. Nonetheless, survivors recoil when perpetrators greet them with open arms and expectations of forgiveness and acceptance. In these cases, forgiveness is assumed rather than granted. A survivor may think: "Should you not wait for me to stretch out my hand to you, when I'm ready, when I've established what is right?" Forgiveness is a power held by the victimized, not a right claimed by the wrongdoer. The ability to dispense, but also to withhold, forgiveness is an ennobling capacity and part of the dignity to be reclaimed by those who survive the wrongdoing. To expect survivors to forgive is to heap yet another burden on them.
LONG NIGHT'S JOURNEY INTO DAY - Facilitator Guide
Long Night's Journey into Day is not an easy film. Just as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) searched for and unearthed painful truths, so, too, does this film portray some stories which are difficult to view, let alone ponder. As a veteran educator and a 30-year activist against racism and apartheid, I believe that precisely because it is a difficult film, it is an invaluable teaching tool.
A MESSAGE FROM THE FILMMAKERS by Frances Reid & Deborah Hoffman
1991 - Government votes to abolish Group Areas Act and Land Acts of 1913 and 1936. Government, National Party, ANC, Inkatha, PAC (Pan Africa Congress), Democratic Party, SACP (South African Communist Party), Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses, and other parties form CODESA (Convention for a Democratic South Africa).