Africans Historical Context

Sheila Kohler
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The First Free Elections in South Africa

"Africans" was first published in 1998, four years after the first one-person, one-vote, nonracial free election in South Africa. In this election, Nelson Mandela, a black South African who had been imprisoned for twenty-seven years on political charges, was elected president. This event occurred after centuries of racial unrest and inequality in South Africa, which culminated in the twentieth century in the institution of apartheid, a strict system of racial segregation and oppression that came into being in the 1940s.

Early Apartheid Legislation

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the Malan government passed several legislative acts designed to increase the power and privilege of whites, segregate the races, and remove the ability of nonwhites to fight these changes. These included the 1949 Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act and the 1950 Immorality Act, which collectively prevented interracial marriage or sexual relations. However, two other...

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This section contains 1,008 words
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Buy the Africans Study Guide
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Africans from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.