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Apartheid's Last Stand
VIDEO COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS:
1. What was apartheid?
Apartheid was a system of government that legitimized segregation and political discrimination against native Africans in the Republic of South Africa.
2. Who is Nelson Mandela, and what role did he play in overturning apartheid in South Africa?
When Nelson Mandela was a young man, he served as a spokesman and freedom fighter for the African National Congress (ANC), the now dominant political party of South Africa, which formerly represented only the silent black majority. Mandela spent 27 years of his life in prison as a result of these political efforts. After his release in 1990, he resumed his political activities. He eventually shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with F.W. de Klerk, the South African president who freed him from prison. In 1994, Nelson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa.
3. How long was the period of forced racial segregation in South Africa, and when did it essentially end?
Forced racial segregation in South Africa extended over a period of three centuries. In the early 1990s, F.W. de Klerk, then president of South Africa, freed Nelson Mandela from prison. Mandela subsequently returned home to head the ANC and was elected president of South Africa in 1994, signaling an end to apartheid.
4. How did the Bantu Education Act of 1953 promote continued racial segregation?
The Bantu Education Act stipulated that schools were to remain segregated. This was intended to send South African black children the message that they should never expect to be treated equally, either in school or later when they joined the workforce.
5. How did economic sanctions by nations around the world affect South Africa?
By imposing economic sanctions on South Africa, nations around the world created both international and internal pressures that forced a near-total economic collapse in the late 1980s. As a result of this collapse, the country became poised for change.
6. What role did Archbishop Desmond Tutu play in helping to end apartheid?
Archbishop Desmond Tutu spoke out internationally against apartheid. His pleas served as an appeal to Christians around the world and offered South Africans the single most unifying voice of the time. He denounced the South African government to the world and called for Nelson Mandela's release from prison.
7. What is the purpose of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and how does it work?
Founded during the Mandela presidency, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established to promote forgiveness, offer amnesty, and help in the rehabilitation of the victims of apartheid. However, no one who appears before the commission is required to express remorse. Those testifying must only describe the behaviors for which they are seeking amnesty.
8. What are some of the most pressing problems continuing to challenge South Africa?
Although some black South Africans have enjoyed economic success, as many as one-third remain uneducated. The large income gaps between blacks and whites remain, forcing many blacks to live significantly below the poverty level, without electricity or running water.