African History Choice Board

By: Zoe Robin

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Timeline Information

  • The1913 Land Act, passed three years after South Africa gained its independence, marked the beginning of territorial segregation by forcing black Africans to live in reserves.

  • The Population Registration Act of 1950 provided the basic framework for apartheid by classifying all South Africans by race, including Bantu (black Africans), Colored (mixed race) and white.

  • By 1950, the government had banned marriages between whites and people of other races

  • Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd, who became prime minister in 1958, would refine apartheid policy further into a system he referred to as separate development.

  • Dr. Hendrik Verwoerd who became prime minister in 1958.

  • From 1961 to 1994, more than 3.5 million people were forcibly removed from their homes and deposited in the Bantustans, where they were plunged into poverty and hopelessness.

  • Resistance to apartheid within South Africa took many forms over the years, from non-violent demonstrations, protests and strikes to political action and eventually to armed resistance.

  • In 1960, at the black township of Sharpsville, the police opened fire on a group of unarmed blacks associated with the Pan-African Congress (PAC), an offshoot of the ANC. The group had arrived at the police station without passes, inviting arrest as an act of resistance. At least 67 blacks were killed and more than 180 wounded.

  • By 1961, most resistance leaders had been captured and sentenced to long prison terms or executed. Nelson Mandela, a founder of Umkhonto we Sizwe (“Spear of the Nation”), the military wing of the ANC, was incarcerated from 1963 to 1990; his imprisonment would draw international attention and help garner support for the anti-apartheid cause.

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