Reaction Paper 3: South Africa is one on the most controversial countries in the world. It is located in the southern part, at the bottom of the continent of Africa as its name indicates. The country is known to shelter a diversity of languages and cultures.
The country went through many violent events opposing the white minority dominating over all other races. Fortunately, a man named Nelson Mandela will change the course of history and impact Africa and the world in a great way.
The role of this paper will be to reflect on the socio cultural and economic conditions of folks in South Africa by establishing the thread they all seem to have in common, to elaborate on the context that makes these conditions possible and in the end, we will try to suggest some solutions to these problems. In our study of the South Africans folks, we will use three important stories related to South Africa. These stories can be found in the book African Short Stories, edited by Chinua Achebe. Chinua Achebe is regarded as one of the most influential writers in African literature and all over the world.
His trilogy of books about Nigeria and Africa are read all over the world and translated in many languages. He put together a number of stories related to Africa in a little book. These stories for the most part are talking about issues in life and particularly in Africa. The stories that we will use here are therefore related to South Africa. Theses stories are the bridegroom written by Nadine Gordimer, the coffee cart girl written by Ezekiel Mphalele and reflections in a cell put together by Mafika Gwala. All these stories are all reflecting one common thing, the conditions of life of black people in South Africa.
The stories generally reflect the effects that apartheid had on the population of South Africa. It is important to clarify what the word apartheid refers to. Apartheid was a system in which racial segregation was the cornerstone and was encouraged and established by the national government. It is important to note that a minority of white people formed the government and that the people that were racially segregated were people of other “color”, especially the Africans. In the stories presented in the book and on which we are reflecting, you can clearly see that black men and women are struggling.
The neighborhood in which they live are extremely poor, the way they speak English is alarming, and the most important part is that the authors always made sure to display the apparent domination of the white people over the black people. Apartheid was the result of colonization. The minority constituted by white people had control over everything and was abusing that power to serve and maintain its selfish interest. As a result, all other racial groups were forced to live to serve the master, going through unimaginable suffering and pain.
Apartheid was based on four main ideas: firstly, the population was structured in different groups according to their color. Secondly, only the white race was regarded as the civilized race. Thirdly, white interests should prevent before anybody’s interest. Finally, the white people formed a single nation along with the Afrikaans, formula that made them the largest racial group in the country. Apartheid was maintained by a series of repressive laws that were only made possible by the population Registration Act of 1950. That Registration was considered as the bible of apartheid.
IT contained a classification of every person and based on that classification, the best interests of the “dominating minority” could be best served. People from African decent had their citizenship removed and all kinds of atrocities were committed. The white minority made sure that black people stayed non-educated because they knew that education was the road to emancipation. Luckily, one of the most popular world’s leaders, Nelson Mandela, succeeded in restoring black people rights just like Martin Luther king did with the black population here in the United States.
Nelson Mandela, just like Martin Luther King applied a policy of non-violence to bring the apartheid system down. Some possible solutions to racial problems could be the adoption of non-violence doctrine like Gandhi and also education. Education can even be considered as the most important factor because leaders need to have an open spirit to be able to direct the masses. Another solution could be the use of religion to strengthen the mind. Religion can be essential and has always been essential in the black community. It brings peace of mind and strength in the war for justice and equality.