Lessons and Activities on Apartheid



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Lessons and Activities on Apartheid

Adapted from the lessons from

Dana Garrison and William Bigelow

Activity 1: An Apartheid Simulation

Standard: SS7H1:

b. Explain how nationalism led to independence in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

c. Explain the creation and end of apartheid in South Africa and the roles of Nelson Mandela and F.W.de Klerk.



Essential Question: How did ethnocentrism influence the treatment of the Bantu people in South Africa and set up a complete separation of the Bantu and the Afrikaner/British people in South Africa?

Materials: self-adhesive name tags, scrap paper, yarn, chart paper, markers, M&Ms (56 oz will cover 8 classes, 84 oz for 3 teams of 4 classes)

Part 1-Intro: (5 min) Have students define together what discrimination means, what it looks like, how it feels, etc. Also, discuss what segregation means, what it looks like, how it feels, etc. See how much they know about the US’s Civil Rights Movement. (Prior knowledge)

Part 2-Segregation Simulation: (Set up/segregate into groups and students read the basic instructions: 15 min. Running the activity: 20 min)

  1. Before class: using painter or masking tape, outline a small space designated for the Bantu (approximately 20% of the room) a small space for “jail”, and the rest of the room is designated for the Afrikaner/British. Make sure to make the Bantu space away from the door, pencil sharpener, trash can, and anything else useful.

  2. Identify a way to separate students. (Suggestion: students choose out of a paper bag a poker chip. 30 students = 4 chips of one color representing the minority Afrikaner/British population, 26 chips of a different color representing the majority Bantu population.)

  3. Place students in separate areas of the classroom according to their classification. Explain that for the rest of the class period they will be kept separate from each other.

  4. Hand out the instruction sheets to each student according to their classification and have them read their instructions for the period while you hand out name tags.

  5. Issue name tags to the students that they must wear for the remainder of the period. Pass out self-adhesive name tags to the minority group, and pass out name tags made out of scrap paper and yarn to hang around the necks of the majority group. This illustrates the difference between ID cards and pass books. Tell them that if they lose their name tags, they will be removed from the activity and be place in the “jail” area.

  6. Explain that there are certain areas of the classroom that are only accessible to the minority group. Make sure they have more space. Play up the preferential treatment of the minority group and continue the segregation for the duration of the period. Explain to the majority group that under no circumstances may they go outside their designated areas unless given permission from you or one of the “privileged minority” or they will be sent to “jail.” Explain that you will enforce the orders given by the privileged minority.

  7. Explain that in this simulation the “M&M”s will represent income. Explain further that to succeed at this exercise each student must be in possession of at least 2 “M&M”s by the end of the simulation.

  8. Give 57 “M&M”s to each of the privilege minority. 12 are to be kept at all times until the end of the activity, the others can be used as wages for the rest of the class. (To determine the total number of M&Ms available for these wage packets, multiply the number of the majority students by 1.5.) This simulates the roughly 8 to 1 Afrikaner/British income to the Bantu.) The Majority get none. They must “work” for their wages.

  9. Tell students that some people in this society make more than others, but if they haven’t made enough to survive they can go to work for the privileged. Suggest certain jobs around the room that students can “work for”, such as empting the trash, cleaning the board, moving books, straightening desks, etc. Make certain the minority demands proper respect from the others.

  10. Encourage the minority to write any laws on the board, such as no talking back, no talking between groups, etc. If students break the laws, then they are placed in “jail” and all wages are confiscated.

  11. Allow the majority to resist and refuse to cooperate as long as it’s peaceful. Violent protesting will result in “jail” time.

During the Simulation, You as the teacher are mimicking some well known events in Apartheid.

  1. Students who are labeled Afrikaner Minority will be giving “jobs” to the students who are labeled “Bantu.” Jobs can be physical. Encourage Privileged to “pay them only 1-2 beans per job.

  2. Periodically take up “taxes” from people who have money. 1 bean at a time, though, and not from everyone.

  3. All of a sudden, announce that there is a new law and randomly put people into homelands based upon “parameters,” such as everyone with shorts or Capris on go to Homeland # 1, Those wearing Green, go here…

  4. You as the teacher randomly check “pass books” of people outside of the homelands. Of course no one has them, so send them to “jail.”

  5. Announce that someone has been “beaten in Jail” and have the students sit just outside the door. They have to pay $20 M&Ms to be “seen” by a Dr. If they are in there more than 2 mins, announce that that person died of their injuries.

  6. To “Get out of Jail” it’s 25 M&Ms. Students must stay in jail until someone “pays” you for their release.

  7. Declare one of the Homelands “condemned” and “bulldoze” the homeland, then put people into jail who are “out of their homeland.”

  8. Any “M&Ms “ that are paid to get out of jail, Dr/hospital, or Taxes, divide it between the Afrikaners.

Part 3- Discussion: Have students write the answers, and then discuss as a whole group. (20 min + 5 min writing/reflecting.)

  1. Who succeeded in acquiring at least two M&Ms? (Point out that the privileged succeeded before the activity even began!)

    1. Those of you with 6 or more M&Ms have enough money to 1. pay for rent, 2. buy food, 3. buy clothing, and 4. pay for education.

    2. Those of you with 3-5 M&Ms, you must decide which 3 out of the 4 things above you’ll pay for.

    3. Those of you with 2 M&Ms, you must decide which 2 out of 4 you will pay for or go without.

    4. Those of you with 1 M&M, you must decide which 1 out of 4 you will pay for or go without.

    5. Those of you with no M&Ms, you’ve died of starvation.

    6. What did you have to do to get the wages?

  2. (Ask the Majority representing Bantu)

    1. Did anyone end up with no wages at the end? Why was this so? What made it hard to earn wages?

    2. Did you think the privileged minority preferred things the way they were?

    3. Did you speak out, complain, or demand any changes?

    4. How did the minority respond to your effort? Why did they respond that way?

    5. If you didn’t speak up, why not?

    6. How did you feel about being separated from the other students in the class based on something outside your control?

    7. If this type of separation would continue, what would you do to change it?

  3. (Ask the Minority representing the Afrikaner/ British)

    1. How did you deal with people who were uncooperative or tried to change the system?

    2. If you knew the members of the majority were dissatisfied, why didn’t you try to make the situation more fair?

  4. (Whole group) Were there any conflicts among people in the majority groups? What caused these? (overcrowding, competition for jobs?)

  5. Did the privileged minority do anything to try to increase the conflict between people in the majority?

  6. What reasons might the majority have for prohibiting protest and change? Can you make any general statement about the connection between repression and a system which is blatantly unequal?

  7. How does this relate to the era of apartheid and the struggle for change?

  8. Distribute Student Handout #2 Map so students can see the actual locations and size of the “homelands” for Bantu South Africans.

    1. Why are these areas so chopped up into so many pieces?

    2. How might this make it difficult for a united movement for equality and justice?

Student Handout 1:

Privileged Minority Representing the Afrikaners/British in South Africa

You have been given a number of privileges which the other students in the class do not have:



  1. You will not be forced to squeeze into the small areas like the rest of the class.

  2. You may wonder the room freely. (Except behind my desk.)

  3. You will receive a packet of “M&M”s. 12 of them will be kept at all times. This represents your inherited wealth. You will use the rest of them to hire members of the unprivileged majority to work for you. Obviously you will receive many more “M&M”s than the other students.

  4. You are privilege. You look down on the unprivileged and call them “Bantu.” They must call you “boss” if they want to work for you.

  5. As mentioned, your responsibility is to make other people (the less privileged) work for you. Use the candy to pay out wages. Think up a number of jobs which need to get done (books moved to another part of the room, the floor swept, desk cleaned or moved, enforcing the law that other “Bantu” don’t step out of their separate areas, etc.) You may want to talk with the other privileged students before deciding on the jobs to be done and what you’ll pay. Don’t pay too much for a job. You don’t want to spoil them! Start out with paying 1-2 per job.

  6. Make sure that the under privileged students don’t step outside the areas they are confined to unless it is work for you. When the job is done, they should return to their areas. Remember, the unprivileged must treat you with respect at all times or they will go to “jail.”

  7. Should any of the underprivileged students fail to obey orders, leave their designated area, protest their treatment, not show you their passbook/id card, or not show you enough respect, you may punish them by sending them to “jail.” Designate one or more of you, or even some of the unprivileged students, as police in order to watch out for troublemakers.

Unprivileged Majority Representing the Bantu

  1. You are, unfortunately, representing the under privileged group in South Africa. They minority (Afrikaners and British) have passed laws that restrict your freedoms within the class.

  2. You are restricted to the taped off section of the room. You may NOT leave this area for any reason without being asked or hired by the minority. If you leave the designated area, then you will be sent to “jail.”

  3. You have been given a name badge. That represents your pass book. You must present it to the minority whenever asked. If you lose it or damage it, then you will be sent to “jail.”

  4. You must who the minority respect no matter what, even if they are mean to you. You must call the minority “boss” at all times and do whatever they ask of you without complaint. If you don’t, then you are sent to “jail”.

  5. The minority have received packets of M&Ms representing their wealth. Notice you don’t have any! Their wealth is inherited, but you must work for your earnings. Volunteer as much as you can to be “hired” for the various jobs they give you. Remember, the faster and better job you do the higher wages you get! Also, you are competing with every other member in your group! You don’t have M&Ms at the end of the activity, then you cannot pay rent, feed your family, buy clothing, etc! Also, if you are sent to jail, it’s impossible to work!

  6. Remember, protesting your treatment or job will land you in jail! Your goal is to earn as many M&Ms as you can… more candy = more wealth!

Student Handout: 2

Apartheid in South African Society



Bantu (Black)

Afrikaner/British (Whites)

Assigned to 13% of land designated as “Homelands”

Own/Occupy 87% of land

Income less than 1/8 of whites

Income 8 times that of Bantu

Social/Occupational subordinates

Social/Occupational superiors

No vote or voice in lawmaking, but must obey laws

Makes laws which everyone must follow

Must have permission to live in the 87% of South African designated “white” areas

Control through laws who may or may not live in “white” South Africa

Must carry passbooks at all times or be arrested or beaten

Carried IDs like a driver’s licenses but don’t have to carry it

  • Virtually all protest, non-violent or otherwise, is outlawed. Even to meet together is illegal.

  • People may be detained without trial indefinitely. Thousands are in jail without having been convicted, or even accused of any crime.

  • According to human rights groups, 70% of these have been physically tortured. Hundreds have been shot in the streets by police and army.

  • There is very little arable farm land in the Homelands. For example, only 15% of the Ciskei is arable, 89% of Ciskei children suffer from malnutrition.

  • According to The Economist, on average 50,000 children died every year during apartheid from the effects of malnutrition, while South Africa exported over $1 billion worth of food annually.

  • None of the Homelands has significant mineral resources.

  • Only 3% of practicing doctors in South Africa are Bantu (black). Infant mortality among rural blacks is 282 per 1,000 births while among whites 12 per 1,000.

  • According to the South African Council of Churches, 3. 5 million Bantu have been forcibly removed from “white” South Africa to the Homelands since 1960.



Lesson 2: PowerPoint on brief history of South Africa.

Standard: SS7H1:

b. Explain how nationalism led to independence in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

c. Explain the creation and end of apartheid in South Africa and the roles of Nelson Mandela and F.W.de Klerk.



Essential questions:

  • How did ethnocentrism play a part in the segregation and discrimination of the Bantu people and how did it influence the laws and government structure of South Africa? What events led up to apartheid?

  • What is apartheid? What was its purpose?

  • How were the black South Africans treated and how does it compare to the treatment of the black Americans prior and during the Civil Rights Movement?

Part 1: (5 min)

  1. Discuss how laws are a reflection of cultural norms and personal values/point of view of the people who live in the land and have the power to write laws.

  2. Have students come up with examples.

  3. Discuss who writes the laws in an autocracy, oligarchy and a democracy.

  4. Discuss how looking at the past/history helps us understand why people think and behave the way they do and why the Afrikaners created the laws that they did in South Africa.

Part 2:

  1. View PowerPoint on brief history of South Africa up to the 1st assignment

  2. Show video links when noted in the PowerPoint.

Part 3: Students look deeper into how the System worked. Students are given the Human Rights Fact Sheet and ask them to take out a sheet of paper, create 4 boxes to take notes on.

  1. Divide students into 8 groups. Assign 2 groups per section to read and take notes and be able to share with the class. Students will write down the key points and ideas of their section.

  2. Students debate/discuss which laws were the

    1. Most restrictive

    2. Most hurt self esteem

    3. Impacts education

Part 4: Give ½ the room the Worksheet “Learning was Defiance” and the other half “South African Student.” Students are to read and write a summary paragraph on the article, then an additional paragraph on their thoughts, feelings, and reactions of the article. (6-8 sentences per paragraph) Be prepared to share with the class what your article was about. (Formative assignment)

Part 5- Activity/product: (Formative: Homework) Students will create a protest poster illustrating apartheid.

You are a reporter in South Africa during the Apartheid protest demonstrations. You have taken a “picture” of the scene that you are witnessing. You see mass amounts of people, mostly Bantu but there are a few Afrikaners/British there. They are all shouting and holding up protest posters and banners. Create a picture that shows this scene: protestors holding up signs and banners. Include 4 restrictions on the banners that the Afrikaners are doing that restrict your rights as a black South African. Make it colorful and creative! You want to draw people’s attention! Below, write a paragraph explaining your picture and the 4 things that are being protested on your banners.

Picture: _______5 points accurately showing protest _____ 5 points: Colored and appealing _____ 20 points for showing 4 different restrictions protested (5 points for each different restriction) _____ 60 points for paragraph accurately describing the restrictions (15 points each) ______ 10 points punctuation and spelling

Antoinette Sithole and Mbuyisa Makhubo carrying and 12-year-old Hector Pieterson moments after he was shot by South African police during a peaceful student demonstration in Soweto, South Africa



file:hector pieterson.jpg file:hector pieterson.jpg

file:hector pieterson.jpg file:hector pieterson.jpgHuman Rights Fact Sheet

“Because I’m black, I’ve got to suffer just because of my skin.” Black student, Witness to Apartheid



A. How the System Worked

  • All people are classified by the government by race. The four racial categories are white, Bantu (black), Colored (mixed races), and Indian. A person does not determine his or her own race, the government decides.

Population:

Total: 30,780,000 African: 22,500,000 White: 4,400,000 Colored: 3,000,000 Indian: 800,000





  • The Group Areas Act declares that South Africa is to be separated into white, Bantu, colored, and Indian areas. Individuals from each group are legally allowed to live only in areas determined by the government. No black, Indian, or colored may reside legally in a “white” area without permission. 87% of the country’s land, including that with the most resources, minerals, and the best farmland, is reserved for whites only.

  • Those people who are living in white areas illegally are subject to arrest and imprisonment. Although blacks are no longer required by law to carry passbooks, they still must have official permission to live in the black townships surrounding the cities. There is a severe shortage of housing for blacks. However, black without housing may be arrested for vagrancy. Decisions to build or not to build new housing are made by the government.

  • According to the South African Council of Churches, between 1960 and 1985 an estimated 3.5 million black South Africans were forced to move to barren tribal reserves, called “homelands.” Families are frequently broken up with the men working in factories located in areas designated “white.” By law, 97% of black South African mine workers must be migrant laborers, they are prohibited from bringing their families with them.

  • Blacks have no vote in South Africa. The white controlled government decides who may live where, how much money will be spent on schools, hospitals, parks, etc.

B. Schooling

  • All public schools in South Africa are strictly segregated. No black child in South Africa may legally sit in a classroom with a white child.

  • The government spends over seven times as much to educate a white child as it spends to educate a black child.

  • On average, there is one teacher in each white South African school for every 18 students. In black schools the ratio is one teacher for every 43 students.

  • Many black schools in South Africa are occupied by heavily armed government troops. Soldiers with automatic rifles often sit and observe inside the classrooms. No white schools are occupied. Many black schools have been closed by the government.

C. Healthcare

  • If you are white in South Africa, you can expect to live 72.3 years. Bantu can expect to live 58.9 years, unless they live in the rural areas where life expectancy is much lower. Coloreds live an average of 56.1 years and Indians, 63.9 years.

  • An average of 136 black children died every day from the effects of malnutrition (starvation). (South Africa is on e of the top seven food exporting nations in the world! Every year, the country exports over $1billion worth of agriculture products, including grain, beef, vegetables, and fruit.) The major cause of death for black children in South Africa is disease brought on by malnutrition: for white children the major cause of death is swimming pool accidents.

  • Government hospitals, even ambulances, are classified by race.

  • The Government may arrest anyone at anytime for any reason and keep them for any length of time. No one need to be notified of an individual’s arrest. Under a State of Emergency (announced June 12, 18986) more than 30,000 people have been arrested as of April 1987; 9,000 of these are children under 18 years old.

  • According to independent reports, torture is widespread and systematic in South African prisons. Many of those tortured are children. A recent survey by the Lawyers Committee for Human Rights found that 83% of all detainees held by South African government authorities have been physically abused.

  • In the last two years, hundreds of blacks have been killed by the South African security forces. Many of these people were children. Under the regulations of the State of Emergency, policemen and soldiers who beat and even kill people are immune from prosecution.

D. Political Repression: Preserving the Apartheid System

Because most people in South Africa suffered from Apartheid, many were involved in trying to change it. The minority that benefited from apartheid used whatever means it could to secure submission and preserve the system:



  • The two major liberation organizations, the African National Congress (ANC) and the Pan African Congress (PAC) are outlawed, as are many other student and community organizations.

  • NO outdoor political meetings may be held, including many funerals. In fact, almost all forms of protest were outlawed. The press is even barred from reporting any acts of resistance unless the government first gives permission.

  • It is against the law for anyone to urge foreign companies to stop investing in South Africa. (Against the law to encourage economic sanctions.

Learning Was Defiance, by Demisani Kumalo

I began school in Evalton, a village twenty miles south of Johannesburg. When I went to school, white education was compulsory and virtually free, and still is today. Yet, I, like other black students, had to pay school fees to the government. If your parents could afford the fees you could get an education. But, if your parents could afford the fees, but not the uniforms, you couldn’t get an education. If your parents could afford a uniform and school fees, but no books, then you still couldn’t get an education.

And then, even if all the fees were paid, you couldn’t go to school if you didn’t have a “Christian” name, meaning a name that whites could pronounce. We would often lead dual lives. At home I was Dumissani. At school I became Shadrack. Every so often the government inspectors would come and check the school register for Christian names and if we had paid our school fees. Those that hadn’t paid were sent away.

In spite of the fees paid to the government, black education of often left up to the community. In other words, the government didn’t build schools for black students, so my parents had to help build mine. They had to buy the furniture, they had to buy the books, the chalk and help pay the teacher’s salary.

The school I went to was just for mud walls and a corrugated iron roof. During the summer the school was like an oven because there were only little holes for window. When it rained, or hailed, we couldn’t hear each other speak because o the corrugated iron roof. We had to wear uniforms, black gym dresses and white shirts for the girls, black pants and white shirts for the boys. But we had no chairs, so we had to sit on the ground, the dusty ground. We had nothing. I left home wearing a nice pressed white shirt and nice pants, but I came home dusty and dirty.

We had one teacher for a class of 129. All the grades were mixed up together. The teacher, who had one small piece of blackboard to teach us with, divided us into two shifts, one from 7-1 o’clock and the rest from 1-5. Teachers were tough. They waned to make sure we learned as much as we could in that short time. The teacher in my school was paid $20 a month to teach 120 kids per day (under rotten conditions.) Teaching was something done out of love. It was a career. It was a calling.

When I started school in 1953, African could be taught in English. But the following year, they changed th4e law and Bantu Education was introduced. Now black children could be taught just enough to become the “better tool of the white man.” This meant that we had to be taught in our “mother tongue.” In other words, if you were a Zulu, you had to be taught in Zulu. But the trick was that there were no books in Zulu. We had to read a book in English, translate it in our heads into Zulu, and then write in Zulu.

But we always wanted to learn. Since the government made it so difficult to get an education, we had to prove that we could. Learning became defiance for us. It was the one of the few things they couldn’t take away. In old Zululand, a man’s worth was judged by the amount of land he tilled and the amount of cattle he had. My father saw all his father’s land and cattle taken from him, and so, education was seen as something irrevocable. (Couldn’t’ take away) They could take away our land, they could lock us up in jail, but they couldn’t take away what’s in our head. This was our strongest motivation for learning.

It wasn’t until I was in junior high school that I became more politically aware and, as a result, more rebellious. This was around the time of the Sharpeville Massacre (Children’s massacre) and I had begun demonstrating with my father. We stared having strikes at school over issues as trivial as food. That was just an excuse, of course, a way to begin to voice our anger. The police would come and beat us, but we didn’t care. It didn’t matter. We could be out there again the next day.

I remember very clearly one incident that made us go on strike. One thing whites used to do for amusement on Friday nights was to get very drunk and drive out to the rural areas with rods and hooks. They would drive past black people and “hook” them anywhere they could and drive away. One day they hooked the sweetest guy at our school. They badly tore up his face and made us strike with anger.

Black education suffers continually from government indoctrination and the oppression and this is why students in South Africa are very politicized. In the English/ Afrikaans dictionary, for example, the word “haas” (the subservient word for master_ was defined as “white man,” “hero” and “clever man.” I grew up being taught the praises and heroes of Bloodriver, I mean our heroes. But when I went to school, the teacher told me that the Zulus lost in Bloodriver. I was so upset that after school I ran home as fast as I could. I went to my aunt who was the oldest member of my family (or as we put it, she had seen more winters than anyone else among us.) “How come you told me there were heroes in Bloodriver, yet the teacher says we lost to the Borers?” I asked in confusion. “Never say that again,“ my aunt replied forcefully. “We never lost the war, it was postponed until we got our own fire sticks,” For some time after that, I lost interest in history and took up math. I figured they couldn’t’ change the numbers.

The main problem in South Africa, then, is not that there aren’t enough schools. It is the nature of the education itself. That’s what we are struggling against. We don’t wan the rotten education they are feeding us. The fundamental problem is not simply that black children are given a different education from the whites, but that it is inferior. That’s what the poison is. It’s not that for two school year we didn’t have a classroom and had to sit under the sun in the summer. It’s what they taught us. The indoctrination is the issue. While we are learning to become the “better tool of the white man” white children are learning that we are inferior and potentially terrorists.

About the Author: Demisani Kumalo, A South African in exile, was formally the director for the American Committee on Africa in New York. This article is reprinted courtesy of The Council, an interracial books for Children.South African Student

You are 16 years old and live in Soweto, a black township near Johannesburg with a population of around two million people. You are a high school student there. Your family is very poor. Your mother is a domestic (maid). She cares for a white family with two children in Johannesburg. You see her only once a week on her day off. Your father is unemployed and even though he is experienced in many kinds of factory work, he cannot find a job. You are not hopefully about finding a good job after you graduate from school.. In fact, you fear you wont find any kind of job.

Your school is very run down. Many windows are broken, the playgrounds are duty fields, the dirt road that runs in front of your school has garbage piled high. Classes in your school are filled to capacity. Sixty or more students is not uncommon., though classrooms are much too small to handle so many people. Some of the teachers in your school care about giving a good education and try hard. But many are poorly trained and don’t really know ho to teach. Others are insensitive to students, and lazy an at times even threaten female students with a failing grade if the girls don’t agree to have an inappropriate relationship with them. This behavior outrages you, but the principal won’t do anything to stop it.

Some of your teachers use corporal punishment and beat students with sticks. You watched a friend of your beaten just because he questioned why a teacher never had you read books by black authors. Of course, schooling in South Africa is strictly segregated. No African may attend a government run white school. There are also separate schools for Indians and people of mixed races, the so called “colored” people. These segregated schools are so separate they even have different vacations and different departments of education which control them. It’s not that you want so badly to go to a white school. What angers you is that you have no say over any of these educational policies and that the whites have reserved a good education for themselves.

Your school curriculum and the curriculum for all black schools was written by white South Africans who want everyone to believe their version of history. According to your textbook, South Africa’s history began with the coming of the whites in 1652. The books say almost nothing about the long history of African sin the country before the arrival of the white settlers. And all the history after that is also told only from the point of view of the whites. Even literature classes are taught as if white people were the only ones who ever did anything. You want to read black writers who talk about freedom and justice like Alex La Guno, Dennis Brutus, Mutuzeli Matshoba and Can Themba. You’ve coined a phrase to sum up your feelings about schooling you receive. You call it “gutter education.”

Because you are dissatisfied with the conditions at your school and the quality of your education, you feel the need for some kind of elected organization to represent your views and complaints in order to win better conditions. For a long time, students at your school and other black schools in the country have called for democratically elected Student Councils. Unfortunately, the government refuses to recognize these councils and has suggested a different kind of student organization which, in your opinion, would be more like establishing a kind of student police force.

Black students in South Africa, like yourself, have not merely complained about the bad conditions, they’ve organized to change them. Up until just recently you had been a member of COSAS, the Congress of South African Students. The COSAS was a national organization set up to fight for a “free,” dynamic and compulsory education for all and was part of the larger struggle for a nonracial democracy in South Africa. Your organization was seen as a threat to the system by the South African government was outlawed in August of 1985, cut off in mid stream before COSAS had a chance to develop a strategy. Even though COSAS is now banned, you are still committed to working to change the whole system of apartheid education, and apartheid itself. What good would it be to have a good school in a rotten system? Even if school changed, the rest of your life would still be like slavery. You’re told where you can and cannot live, when you can and can’t work, and you have no vote. When you get work, which is not often these days, you work in the worst conditions for the lowest pay.

But even though you know there must be change and that someday there will be change, it is difficult for your fellow students to know exactly what to do. Every day you are faced with difficulty choices, choices which hare sometimes dangerous.



Lesson 3: A Deeper understanding of Apartheid

Standard: SS7H1:

b. Explain how nationalism led to independence in South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria.

c. Explain the creation and end of apartheid in South Africa and the roles of Nelson Mandela and F.W.de Klerk.

Essential Question: How did Apartheid personally affect the people of South Africa?

Materials: Internet access, video analysis worksheets and print-outs of essays linked below from www.overcomingapartheid.msu.edu (may want to print articles if you don’t have access to a computer lab)



Part 1-Intro: Review some of the Apartheid laws discussed. Which laws were the most restricted? Explain why.

Part 2-Activity: Students are to analyze each video clip, noting how each person was affected by apartheid.

  1. Ayesha Hoorzook Apartheid: http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/video.php?id=65-24F-DA

  2. Ayesha Hoorzook: Racial Classification http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/video.php?id=65-24F-DD

  3. Obed Bapela Pass Books: http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/video.php?id=65-24F-5C

  4. John Biyase Education: http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/video.php?id=65-24F-DB

  5. John Biyase Detention without trial http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/video.php?id=65-24F-DC

  6. Ahmed Kathrada Dream for Post-Apartheid http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/video.php?id=65-24F-A1

Part 3- assign students to small groups and have each group read an essay from the following links which goes deeper into the events during apartheid. Students are to write the main ideas/points that the articles are trying to express. Present to the class findings.

  1. Bantu Education- http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=3

  2. Soweto Education- http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=5

  3. Detentions Without Trial- http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=12

  4. Life as a Political Prisoner- http://overcomingapartheid.msu.edu/sidebar.php?id=11

Part 4- Formative/ Homework: Imagine you are a citizen of South Africa during Apartheid. Write a letter to a government official explaining what changes you think should be made in the country. Include an intro, two changes and a conclusion. (6-8 sentences in the body paragraphs.)



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