Sizwe Banzi Is Dead Historical Context

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In 1972, South Africa had a system of repressive apartheid; segregation occurred socially, economically, politically, and culturally. For years, black Africans and "coloureds" (the South African term for those of mixed race) had been the overwhelming majority, yet their rights and opportunities were severely restricted by the white minority.

From the beginning of the twentieth century, the white minority in power restricted ownership of land, education, employment, and movement within South Africa. Races were not allowed to intermarry. Many blacks lived in crowded areas and could not live in the same areas as whites. Blacks and coloureds were paid less than their white counterparts. The white-controlled government tried to restrict all dissent by whites and blacks.

Yet there seemed to be some positive progress in 1972. Three black homelands Bophuthatswan, Ciskei, and Lebowa were given self-governing territory status within South Africa. This move was supposed to promote self-government, which meant...

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This section contains 272 words
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