Valley Song Historical Context

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The most significant historical event surrounding the creation of Fugard's Valley Song was the dismantling of apartheid and South Africa's rebirth as a free society just as the play was being produced. "Apartheid," which means "separateness" in the Afrikaans language, was the set of laws used by the white, ruling National Party between 1948 and 1992 to segregate the races in South Africa and provide different rights and privileges to each. Under the apartheid system, there were four official races: white, black, "Coloured" (mixed-race), and Asian. Only whites had complete freedom to travel and work anywhere they chose, a quality education, and the right to vote. The other races were restricted by "Pass Laws" that required them to live in specially designated "homelands" in townships at the edges of white cities, provided them with minimum education, and few opportunities for employment and improvement of their standard of living.

Apartheid came...

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This section contains 743 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Valley Song Study Guide
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Literature of Developing Nations for Students
Valley Song from Literature of Developing Nations for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.