Mandela: Inspiration for an era of activismtags: NYT, South Africa, Nelson Mandela, apartheid, London
LONDON — In the welter of passion and memory surrounding the decline of Nelson Mandela, a more modest commemoration slipped by a week ago that said much about the role he played as an inspiration in his long years of imprisonment, when the daily grind of struggle against apartheid fell to others who fought in his name.
It was a reminder, too, that the battle to end white rule was fought on many levels, ranging from the activism of anti-apartheid exiles here in London to a brutal shadow war in South Africa itself that offered no quarter to those seeking a new order.
The events of June 27, 1985, offered a particular insight.
On that date, a hit team of secret police officers — white and black — murdered four anti-apartheid activists from Cradock, a pinprick settlement in the remote hinterland of the Eastern Cape, ambushing their car late at night before bludgeoning, shooting, stabbing and burning them to death.
In the shorthand of martyrdom, they became known as the Cradock Four, emblems of a time when the white authorities sought to dismantle such clusters of resistance through a tactic they euphemistically called “permanent removal” from society....
comments powered by Disqus
- Russian History Receives a Makeover That Starts With Ivan the Terrible
- Parsing Ronald Reagan’s Words for Early Signs of Alzheimer’s
- Here's a look at history of 'religious freedom' laws
- ‘Hamilton’ Puts Politics Onstage and Politicians in Attendance
- Earth Tectonic Plate Simulation Reveals Our Planet Has Changed A Lot In 200 Million Years
- Historians make it easy for visitors to DC to understand the history of the Mall
- History's Grandin Wins Bancroft Prize for "The Empire of Necessity"
- Nobel prize-winning scientist writes a history of science
- Ken Burns tackles history of cancer
- If historians have their way, Americans will soon learn how important religion has been in US history