South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy

Tags: Africa, History, National Endowment for the Humanities

South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy tells the story of the South African struggle for freedom and democracy against systematic racism. A particularly valuable component of the Overcoming Apartheid website is first-hand accounts of this important political movement captured in more than 40 interviews with South African activists conducted specifically for this project.

This site is designed particularly for educators at the high school and undergraduate level who are seeking to use primary and secondary source materials to teach about the struggle against white minority rule in South Africa. Overcoming Apartheid is a one-stop resource for educators and scholars interested in the study and teaching about apartheid and the struggle to end it. The site arranges materials around eight chronological narrative units and 25 key topics about how the apartheid system operated and the struggle to end it. Throughout, archival materials, including videos, rare photos, historical documents, and posters, are carefully incorporated. The Overcoming Apartheid site meets a critical need for robust, engaging, and accessible teaching materials about apartheid and the struggle for political democracy in South Africa.

The in-depth videotaped interviews with activists in the South African liberation movement, include people involved in mass organizing, the armed struggle, and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Each interview is presented in full length and also with short, accessible segments about specific subjects (such as the pass laws, forced removals, the Soweto student uprising, political prisoners, and international solidarity). Other teaching materials include maps and scholarly essays.