Throughout the late twentieth century, South Africa was a country devoid of many of the freedoms that we in the United States take for granted. In 1948 South Africa instituted one of the most morally repulsive policies in international history. Apartheid, as it was called, ignored the human rights of more than half of the country's population. It ordered a strict and conformist code of separation on its black citizens. The black community in South Africa could no longer live, work, or enjoy innumerable parts of South Africa. Their government forced blacks, to live in "homeland- areas of the country, where the chance for economic advancement was no longer a feasible right. Blacks were not only denied financial opportunity; they were also denied the democratic right to vote. They were publicly shamed and disgraced in order to keep them in a state of inferiority in South African society. This composition will look at protest songs, poems, and chants as a form of peaceful protest used by both black and white South Africans to fight against Apartheid and the effect it had on the collective citizenry of South Africa, European nations, and the United States.
The English and Dutch colonized South Africa in the seventeenth century. Early in the colonization of South Africa, the English domination of the Dutch descendents (known as Boers or Afrikaners) resulted in the Dutch establishing the new colonies of Orange Free State and Transvaal. And, the discovery of diamonds in these newly founded colonies, around 1900, resulted in an English raids throughout South Africa during the early eighteenth century. This raid sparked the volatile Boer War between the English and the Dutch. Even after the Dutch descendents finally gained their independence from England in the 1920s, a volatile relationship remained between the two groups until the 1940's, when the Afrikaner National Party was able to gain a strong majority.