December 10, 2008
A Witness to the 1976 Soweto Uprising
Graeme Addison, a South African journalist who was on the scene at the Soweto uprising of June 16, 1976, tells us what he saw that day. Graeme speaks from the site of the Hector Pieterson memorial, commemorating one of the students who was killed by South African police that day.
The Soweto uprising is important in South African history because it marked a sharp turn in racial politics. It provided a spark for the black majority within South Africa to resist white rule and was the beginning of an 18-year struggle with the regime. It also applied pressure on the apartheid government from the international community, which condemned the government's actions and eventually led to crippling economic sanctions.
We also visited the adjoining museum, which depicts in text and video and many dramatic, large black-and-white photographs the events of that day as well as the history and consequences. The museum does not allow photographs or video to be taken, so below is a sample of images taken from that tragic day.
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