How did Africans envision their future at the dawn of independence? Class Activity



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How did Africans envision their future at the dawn of independence?

Class Activity: Activity Stations with images, speeches, and videos of independence and freedom celebrations. Note: This activity could also be done as a whole class activity.

Objectives:
At the time of their independence from colonial powers or oppressive regimes, African independence leaders and their people envisioned a prosperous, democratic, and peaceful future.

Opening: Show class a map of Africa: Have students find Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa. Today we will look at the independence and freedom movements in these countries to find out: How did Africans respond to independence? How did they envision their future?

Station work: Explain that students will visit three stations to gather evidence to answer two questions. On a worksheet, describe images and jot down words or phrases that: 1) Express Africans’ feelings about independence and freedom; 2) Show what they imagined for their country and Africa now that they were free from colonial rule or oppression.

1) GHANA

a) Videoclip of Independence, March 6, 1957: Ghana was the first sub-Saharan country to receive its independence, in 1957, from Britain. What images do you see? What feelings do they convey?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxukN7hKpeE&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL59DDD9C2E6D23161

b. Audioclip of Ghana freedom song (scroll down this blog)
http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2010/06/21/50-years-of-african-independence-the-music-of-west-africa/

b) Excerpt from Kwame Nkrumah’s Independence Day Speech: What are the visions of Africa that Nkrumah describes?


http://panafricanquotes.wordpress.com/speeches/independence-speech-kwame-nkrumah-march-6-1957-accra-ghana/

SHORT VERSION:
From now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds.  We must realise that from now on we are no longer a colonial but free and independent people.

But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work. That new Africa is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all the black man is capable of managing his own affairs...It is the only way we can show the world that we are ready for our own battles...

We have won the battle and again rededicate ourselves … OUR INDEPENDENCE IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS IT IS LINKED UP WITH THE TOTAL LIBERATION OF AFRICA...

LONG VERSION:
At long last, the battle has ended!  And thus, Ghana, your beloved country is free forever!

And yet again, I want to take the opportunity to thank the people of this country; the youth, the farmers, the women who have so nobly fought and won the battle.

Also, I want to thank the valiant ex-service men who have so cooperated with me in this mighty task of freeing our country from foreign rule and imperialism.

And, as I pointed out… from now on, today, we must change our attitudes and our minds.  We must realise that from now on we are no longer a colonial but free and independent people.

But also, as I pointed out, that also entails hard work. That new Africa is ready to fight his own battles and show that after all the black man is capable of managing his own affairs...

As I said to the Assembly a few minutes ago, I made a point that we are going to create our own Africa personality and identity.  It is the only way we can show the world that we are ready for our own battles...

We have won the battle and again rededicate ourselves … OUR INDEPENDENCE IS MEANINGLESS UNLESS IT IS LINKED UP WITH THE TOTAL LIBERATION OF AFRICA...

Reshaping Ghana’s destiny, I am depending on the millions of the country, and the chiefs and the people, to help me to reshape the destiny of this country.  We are prepared to pick it up and make it a nation that will be respected by every nation in the world...

And my last warning to you is that you are to stand firm behind us so that we can prove to the world that when the African is given a chance, he can show the world that he is somebody!

We have awakened.  We will not sleep anymore. Today, from now one, there is a new African in the world!



2) SOUTH AFRICA
South Africa did not undergo the same process of colonization that other sub-Saharan African countries experienced. Europeans migrated there in the seventeenth century and began taking political power. Blacks saw their rights further erode in 1948 with the implementation of a system of apartheid, “separateness.” In 1994, apartheid was finished and Nelson Mandela was elected as its first black president.

a) Black South Africans vote, April 27, 1994. Select 2-3 images from Google image search.


Voting lines:
http://ryanhassebrook.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/south-africa1.jpg

Man votes for first time:


http://www.britannica.com/bps/media-view/90400/1/0/0

b) Videoclip of Inauguration, May 9, 1994, 43 seconds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2FE0yeyxag

c) Excerpt from Nelson Mandela’s Inauguration Speech at Cape Town:
http://www.blackpast.org/?q=1994-nelson-mandela-s-inaugural-address-president-south-africa-0

On May 9, 1994, Nelson Mandela was officially inaugurated as the first democratically elected President of South Africa chosen by the majority of the nation's citizens.  His inauguration address given at Cape Town, South Africa, appears below.

SHORT VERSION:
Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa...

We have fought for a democratic constitution since the 1880s. Ours has been a quest for a constitution freely adopted by the people of South Africa, reflecting their wishes and their aspirations. The struggle for democracy has never been a matter pursued by one race, class, religious community or gender among South Africans...The task at hand will not be easy. But you have mandated us to change South Africa from a country in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future.

LONG VERSION
Mr. Master of Ceremonies,
Your Excellencies,
Members of the Diplomatic Corps,
My Fellow South Africans:
Today we are entering a new era for our country and its people. Today we celebrate not the victory of a party, but a victory for all the people of South Africa...

We have fought for a democratic constitution since the 1880s. Ours has been a quest for a constitution freely adopted by the people of South Africa, reflecting their wishes and their aspirations. The struggle for democracy has never been a matter pursued by one race, class, religious community or gender among South Africans. In honoring those who fought to see this day arrive, we honor the best sons and daughters of all our people. We can count amongst them Africans, Coloreds, Whites, Indians, Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Jews - all of them united by a common vision of a better life for the people of this country...

In the political order we have established there will regular, open and free elections, at all levels of government - central, provincial and municipal. There shall also be a social order which respects completely the culture, language and religious rights of all sections of our society and the fundamental rights of the individual...

The task at hand on will not be easy. But you have mandated us to change South Africa from a country in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future...

The people of South Africa have spoken in these elections. They want change! And change is what they will get. Our plan is to create jobs, promote peace and reconciliation, and to guarantee freedom for all South Africans. We will tackle the widespread poverty so pervasive among the majority of our people. By encouraging investors and the democratic state to support job creating projects in which manufacturing will play a central role we will try to change our country from a net exporter of raw materials to one that exports finished products through beneficiation...

To raise our country and its people from the morass of racism and apartheid will require determination and effort...

This is the challenge that faces all South Africans today, and it is one to which I am certain we will all rise.

3) KENYA

a) Videoclip of Jomo Kenyatta, including independence day, play up to 2:17 (his death)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MaeUMjGTuuA&feature=related

b) Jomo Kenyatta, Independence Day message to the people, December 12, 1963:
Many people may think that, now there is Uhuru [swahili word for freedom, independence], now I can see the sun of Freedom shining, richness will pour down like manna from Heaven. I tell you there will be nothing from Heaven. We must all work hard, with our hands, to save ourselves from poverty, ignorance, and disease.

Closure: Have students share their answers to the questions. Ask: What has happened since those days? Have independence dreams come true? [while there is some stability and freedom, as in Ghana and South Africa, many countries still struggle with underdevelopment, poverty, and lack of democracy]

Pre-Assessment Writing: Who is to blame for the poverty and lack of democracy that still affects many Africans? Why? What would help Africans to achieve a better life? We will spend the next few days thinking about these questions.


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