Wednesday, June 16, 2010

National Youth Day in South Africa

On June 16 South Africa celebrates National Youth Day to commemorate the anniversary of the Soweto Uprising.

The World Cup affords an opportunity for nations across the globe to celebrate competition, athleticism and teamwork at its  best. It also provides an opportunity to spotlight national and global social issues.

Youth Day reminds us of the history of South Africa and the struggle against apartheid.

From Wikipedia entry for Soweto uprising:
"On the morning of June 16, 1976, thousands of black students walked from their schools to Orlando Stadium for a rally to protest against having to learn through Afrikaans in school. Many students who later participated in the protest arrived at school that morning without prior knowledge of the protest, yet agreed to become involved. The protest was intended to be peaceful and had been carefully planned by the Soweto Students’ Representative Council’s (SSRC) Action Committee, with support from the wider Black Consciousness Movement. Teachers in Soweto also supported the march after the Action Committee emphasized good discipline and peaceful action."

The uprising was a key moment in the struggle by South Africans to defeat the regime and its policy of apartheid.

[Post in conjunction with Goal 2010!, CCAI's exhibition of the FIFA World Cup fine art poster portfolio. Graphic from google image search for 'Soweto uprising.' Caption: "Soweto June 1976. Mbuyisa Makhubu carries the body of Hector Pieterson, shot by police during the student protest against Afrikaans as the school language medium. (Photograph by Sam Nzima)"]

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