A Biko Following

Part three of Have You Heard From Johannesburg? focused on the beginning of the end of Apartheid.  A major leader of this movement was Stephen Biko, who by some people, was compared to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Steve Biko was an incredible man, and leader for black students.  He mentioned that the biggest fear to Steve Bikothe black man is not the white man, but himself.

One of the men interviewed in the film said Biko gave an example of a black man who walked down the street and removed his hat in order to pass the white man on the street.  However, there was no authority telling him he had to do that, no one to arrest him had he not removed his hat. But at that time they were so afraid of getting arrested because it was happening so frequently, that they were not taking any chances.

Steve Biko was the head of the Black Consciousness movement and really started to pave the way for South African freedom. He was a symbol of hope.  So, when he was taken away and beaten to death, South Africans were extremely upset.  However, this did not change their hope.  They took that as a way to try to continue his efforts and try even harder to stop Apartheid.

United NationsThis part of the documentary also showed a strong support to end Apartheid from other countries.  In South Africa, the Afrikaners are descendants of the white Dutch settlers.  It is interesting because the Dutch people in the Netherlands were the ones to want to end Apartheid and seemed to kick start the support around Europe.  It ended up that there was a United Nations meeting, where they voted, and South Africa was suspended from the UN.  This was a significant and important step form South Africa’s freedom, because it showed that there was support from the rest of the world for them to change their laws and customs.  However, some countries did not support this suspension.  I feel that if it weren’t for the support of other countries, it would have been very difficult for South Africa to become the way they are today.

running from gun fireIn Soweto, there was an uprising, where the black students could not take it anymore, and decided to protest.  They were furious about the education system, and the inequality of blacks and whites.  Hundreds and hundreds of students came out to protest on June 16th, 1976.  It started out peaceful with out violence, until the police started firing into the crowd.  They also let vicious dogs into the crowd, however the protestors rebutted and stoned the Hectordogs.

There were many casualties in this uprising, and it showed awareness to other countries that something was not right.  I feel that this part of the documentary showed how hard black people worked to get equality, but the whites were stubborn and made everything violent.

I feel that all three of the Have You Heard From Johannesburg? videos really showed how long the struggle and fight was to end Apartheid, but also showed how recent it was.  This helps to understand why it is still struggling to be at the same integration level as other countries.


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