The Apartheid Of South Africa

1750 WordsMay 27, 20167 Pages
“Mandela did not merely oppose white domination; he opposed domination by any racial group, including Africans. By standing firm in his principles and enduring extraordinary sacrifices that robbed him of most of his adult life, he helped force change, while proving beyond any doubt that he was a leader who could be trusted to keep his word” (Kent). Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) was a human rights activist as well as the first black President of South Africa. Referred to as the living embodiment of black liberation, Mandela specifically fought against the government system of South Africa known as apartheid (Lacayo, Washington, Monroe, & Simpson). Apartheid is an Afrikaan word meaning apartness and was a system of racial segregation for the…show more content…
Even before apartheid however, racist ideologies were still prominent in South Africa and affected the lives of many blacks, including Nelson Mandela. For example, in 1939, Mandela was considered fortunate to have entered the elite University of Fort Hare, which at the time was the only Western-style higher learning institute for South African blacks. Sadly, in 1940 Mandela and several other students were sent home from the university for participating in a boycott against university policies that would not allow a democratically chosen student council (Hunt); however Mandela was lucky to have even had the opportunity to go to Fort Hare. In fact, Mandela was the first in his family to receive a formal education, showing how uncommon it was for blacks to actually go to school let alone attend a university in South Africa. After studying law at the University of Witwatersrand, Mandela joined the African National Congress (ANC) and worked with other associates to form its youth league, the ANCYL. The ANCYL along with the ANC were responsible for coming up with tactics to respond to racism in South Africa, which started out as boycotts, strikes, civil disobedience, and other nonviolent methods. However, after years of peaceful rebellion, on December 5th, 1956, Mandela and 155 other activists were arrested and put on trial for treason. Luckily all defendants were freed in 1961 but by the time they
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