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
- ‘Bite-sized’ history textbooks used in the UK accused of ‘dumbing down’ the subject: should we be worried?
- Tut’s beard glued back on like a bad craft project
- Smithsonian working to finalize deal for new site in London
- The voices of Auschwitz
- What countries teach children about the Holocaust varies hugely
- From his perch in Saudi Arabia, Princeton’s Mark Cohen says Jews and Muslims should remember they used to get along
- Duke honors historian John Hope Franklin with year-long series of events
- What New Left History Gave Us
- Marcus Borg, Liberal Christian Scholar, Dies at 72
- Richard Hofstadter’s insights into the "paranoid style in American politics” lauded in the NYT