south african freedom

Port Royal, South Carolina, slave quarters, 1862.

Taken in 1862, when freedom came to the Gullah in the area of Beaufort and St. Helena, this photo shows a row of slave quarters. This grouping is very unusual for quarters before emancipation, because they are not in a straight row. They are relatively well built, with brick chimneys. The areas between the houses are fenced, indicating a level of personal and family space defined in the grouping. The man in the foreground is sitting on a bench in front of a pot on a fire.

Civil War Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

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January 8th 1912: African National Congress founded

On this day in 1912 the South African political party, the African National Congress, was founded. The party began as the South African Native National Congress and was founded at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein. The ANC aimed to fight for the rights of South African blacks who suffered daily discrimination and violence under the brutal apartheid system. In 1955 the ANC and its allies proclaimed the Freedom Charter, which set out the party’s core principles and commitment to equality and democracy, incorporating demands from regular South Africans. In 1961 the ANC formed a military wing called Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), who resolved to fight apartheid through violence. The group gained traction as it was widely felt that nonviolent methods were not producing results while the white authorities continued to commit atrocities against black South Africans. Nelson Mandela was a major leader of this military wing and spent 27 years in prison for his role in the group, being labelled a terrorist by many Western nations. Upon his release, Mandela led the ANC in the successful negotiations to end apartheid, and was overwhelmingly elected President of South Africa in the first multi-racial elections in 1994. The ANC has governed South Africa since, currently under President Jacob Zuma, though the party’s electoral support has been waning in recent years. In 2013, Nelson Mandela died aged 95 and has been mourned around the world as a hero who fought for freedom in South Africa, and as a symbol of resistance for oppressed peoples everywhere.

“We, the People of South Africa, declare for all our country and the world to know: that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white, and that no government can justly claim authority unless it is based on the will of all the people…”
- opening lines of the ANC’s 1955 Freedom Charter

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Happy Birthday Maya Angelou!

April 4, 1928

Maya Angelou’s chronology of autobiographies…

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

a coming-of-age-story that illustrates how strength of character and a love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma. The book begins when three-year-old Maya and her older brother are sent to Stamps, Arkansas, to live with their grandmother and ends when Maya becomes a mother at the age of 16. In the course of Caged Bird, Maya transforms from a victim of racism with an inferiority complex into a self-possessed, dignified young woman capable of responding to prejudice.

Gather Together in My Name

the second book in Angelou’s series of seven autobiographies…begins immediately following the events described in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, and follows Angelou, called Rita, from the ages of 17 to 19. Written three years after Caged Bird, the book “depicts a single mother’s slide down the social ladder into poverty and crime.” The title of the book is taken from the Bible, but it also conveys how one Black female survived in the white-dominated society of post-war America, and speaks for all Black females.

Singin’ and Swingin’ and Gettin’ Merry Like Christmas

the third book…Set between 1949 and 1955, the book spans Angelou’s early twenties. In this volume, Angelou describes her struggles to support her young son, form meaningful relationships, and forge a successful career in the entertainment world. The work’s 1976 publication was the first time an African-American woman had expanded her life story into a third volume.

The Heart of a Woman

the fourth installment…recounts events in Angelou’s life between 1957 and 1962 and follows her travels to California, New York City, Cairo, and Ghana as she raises her teenage son, becomes a published author, becomes active in the US civil rights movement, and becomes romantically involved with a South African freedom fighter. One of the most important themes of The Heart of a Woman is motherhood, as Angelou continues to raise her teenage son. The book ends with Angelou’s son leaving for college and Angelou looking forward to newfound independence and freedom.

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

is the fifth book…Set between 1962 and 1965, the book begins when Angelou is thirty-three years old, and recounts the years she lived in Accra, Ghana. The book begins where Angelou’s previous book, TheHeart of a Woman, ends, with the traumatic car accident involving her son Guy, and ends as Angelou returns to America. The title of the book comes from a Negro spiritual.

 A Song Flung Up to Heaven

the sixth book…Set between 1965 and 1968, it begins where Angelou’s previous book All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes ends, with Angelou’s trip from Accra, Ghana, where she had lived for the past four years, back to the United States. Two “calamitous events” frame the beginning and end of the book—the assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Angelou describes how she dealt with these events and the sweeping changes in both the country and in her personal life, and how she coped with her return home. The book ends with Angelou at “the threshold of her literary career,” writing the opening lines to her first autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

Mom & Me & Mom

the seventh book…published shortly before Mother’s Day and Angelou’s 85th birthday. It focuses, for the first time in her books, on Angelou’s relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter. The book explains Baxter’s behavior, especially Baxter’s abandonment of Angelou and Angelou’s older brother when they were young children, and fill in "what are possibly the final blanks in Angelou’s eventful life.” The book also chronicles Angelou’s reunion and reconciliation with Baxter. Angelou was well-respected as a poet and writer, and was one of the first African American female writers to openly discuss her life through the autobiography.

It’s important we understand the full mission and reasoning for overcoming colonization in Africa. Yes part of it was for African Nations to gain their independence, but a huge aspect of it was also for African to gain control off their resources. African countries can’t be truly independent if we don’t control our own resources. The reason being is that most of Africa’s wealth is dependent on their resources. So without control of them, Europe will always profit off of them.

Europe’s main goal wasn’t just to control the land, it was to control the land and it’s resources. We got our land back next step is to get the resources. Yes African nations have celebrated our independence, but it’s not complete until we have full control of the resources on our land!


Post made by: @Oba_Tayo
“I do this for my culture to let them know that the struggle ain’t over”