Anne Applebaum: South Africa’s Unfinished RevolutionRoundup: Media's Take
tags: South Africa, apartheid, truce and reconciliation
Anne Applebaum is a Washington Post columnist.
Twenty years ago, I visited South Africa and got lost. I set out from my hotel in Durban in search of a small black college where some leaders of the African National Congress (ANC) party were meeting before the country’s first post-apartheid elections. I drove around Durban’s white suburbs for hours, looking for a building that was not on my map because, technically, it was not in Durban. It was in KwaZulu, one of the black “homelands” that existed alongside but legally separate from the white neighborhoods. When I stopped for directions, nobody I asked had ever heard of the college, even though it was only a few miles away.
South Africa is so different today as to be unrecognizable. Living restrictions are gone, neighborhoods that were once all white are integrated, the homelands are no more. At a Johannesburg mall, black and white shoppers buy sneakers and eat frozen yogurt together without caring that such a thing was once unthinkable. In newly prosperous Soweto, Nelson Mandela’s house is a museum crowded with black and white tourists. Outside Pretoria, a black guide showed me around the less-crowded “Great Trek” monument, built in 1937 as a shrine to white Afrikaner supremacy. “It is a difficult history,” he agreed. “But we have to know all of it.”...
comments powered by Disqus
- "I've studied the history of Confederate memorials. Here's what to do about them."
- Annette Gordon-Reed writes about why Jefferson matters more than ever after Charlottesville
- Harvard’s Maya Jasanoff vists the Congo and discovers people there probably live harder lives than they did 100 years ago when Joseph Conrad was there
- Eric Foner says in an interview that it’s not necessary to remove Confederate statues
- Philip Zelikow says the government should crack down on armed groups of militants