Segregation in Africa

What was Apartheid?

Apartheid, meaning "separate" in Afrikaans, is a policy of racial segregation. Under apartheid, the nonwhite population was forced to be segregated from the whites. Its laws remained for 50 years, despite opposition. It was created because of different reasons. One of them was white superiority, existing for years before apartheid. Another is because of the economic problems from the Great Depression and WW2. This convinced the government to strengthen the segregational policies between races. Not only between blacks and whites but into four separate categories, Black/Bantu, White, Asian, Colored/ Mixed.

When/ Where was Apartheid?

Apartheid happened from the year 1948 to 1991 . It occured mostly in South Africa but in other parts of the world as well.

Who was involved?

Some of the main people in Apartheid included Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk:

- Nelson Mandela was captured imprisoned from 1963 to 1990 for being an anti-apartheid leader. This caused international recognition and helped the support of anti-apartheid cause.

-Nelson Mandela also worked closely with President F.W. de Klerk's government to draw up a new constitution for South Africa and get rid of the segragrational law.

Key events

- In 1910- South Africa gained its independence from Great Britain.

- In 1939- the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act was initiated. This act made it illegal for anyone of different races to have relationships/ marriages.

- In 1960- the police opened fire on a group of unarmed blacks in the town of Sharpesville. At least 67 blacks were killed and 180 wounded. This convinced some anti-apartheid leaders could not achieve goals without peace.

- In 1962, Nelson Mandela was arrested.

- In 1990, South African government ended censorship of media and freed prisoners.

- In 1994, Nelson Mandela is elected president of South Africa.


The final stages of Apatheid happened quickly. When Mandela was released and other movements were lifted, European countries were getting poor from wars such as WW2 as well. They often handed over Afrian countries quickly to leaders who had little time, Democracy did not come instantly to them. It had to built, brick by brick.


Apartheid was a horrible time that divided humanity. Races were treated horribly just because of their origin and the color of their skin. It was an extremely unfair time where they had separate things for everything, bathrooms, public places, restaurants, etc. Apartheid left Africans uneducated and isolated from world politics. Many segregated areas still exist in Africa. Apartheid left a severe mark on Africa and its history. Other governments may hav learned from Africa that segragation is not the answer. Africa has overcomed a lot but still has many challenges to face.