Reclaiming Our Way promoting the well-being of African American children & families

16Jun/140

Voices of Sarafina – Remembering the Students in the Struggle Against Racism and Apartheid

Remembering...

soweto uprising

SOWETO UPRISING

June 16, 1976
Soweto, South Africa

TODAY IS YOUTH DAY IN SOUTH AFRICA!

*  Understanding and celebrating the role of students in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa  *

The following video is a documentary about the South African musical stage play SARAFINA! which toured the United States during 1988 and 1989, before Nelson Mandela's formal release from prison.  I saw this musical with my family at the Fox Theater in Detroit during my senior year of high school.  Of course, this South African musical would later be adapted for the big screen in 1992, and starring Whoopi Goldberg.

This musical was really transformative for me, on an emotional and personal level, because these were students, no older than I was at the time, demonstrating the power and the critical importance of youth organizing and activism in our collective struggles against racism and oppression.  And the South African youth role in the struggle, as depicted in the musical, was a struggle with life and death implications - this was no easy struggle.

I will always be indebted to all of those souls who have gone on before us, old and young alike, who have demonstrated the importance and the transformative power of youth voice, and the active role youth must play in the continuing struggle for the well-being and development of African people the world over.

Happy Youth Day to all of our brothers and sisters in South Africa!

Also check out a previous post from two years ago, with additional information and resources.

14Jun/140

Commemorating the Soweto Uprising, A Documentary – June 16, 1976

Remembering...

soweto uprising

SOWETO UPRISING

June 16, 1976
Soweto, South Africa

*  Understanding and celebrating the role of students in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa  *

On June 16, 1976, students in Soweto, South Africa began a series of peaceful protests and school walkouts, confronting the oppressive and racist policies of the South African government.  As word spread, about the planned youth protests and the brutal government response, the protests spread across the country.

The brutal police regime fired upon the students, after blocking their passage through the streets. The images of peacefully protesting students being fired upon by the police fueled a growing international outrage at the extreme inhumanity and racism of the minority white South African government controlling the majority African population.

The documentary below (approx. 1 hour) provides an overview of the circumstances and events surrounding the Soweto Uprising, largely from the perspective of those who were there.