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Apartheid in South Africa
Events and Projects

Sharpeville Massacre
Soweto uprising · Treason Trial
Rivonia Trial · Church Street bombing
CODESA · St James Church massacre
Cape Town peace march
Purple Rain

Organisations

ANC · IFP · AWB · Black Sash · CCB
Conservative Party · ECC · PP · RP
PFP · HNP · MK · PAC · SACP · UDF
Broederbond · National Party
COSATU · SADF · SAP

People

P. W. Botha · Oupa Gqozo · D. F. Malan
Nelson Mandela · Desmond Tutu
F. W. de Klerk · Walter Sisulu
Helen Suzman · Harry Schwarz
Andries Treurnicht · H. F. Verwoerd
Oliver Tambo · B. J. Vorster
Kaiser Matanzima · Jimmy Kruger
Steve Biko · Mahatma Gandhi
Joe Slovo · Trevor Huddleston

Places

Bantustan · District Six · Robben Island
Sophiatown · South-West Africa
Soweto · Sun City · Vlakplaas

Other aspects

Afrikaner nationalism
Apartheid laws · Freedom Charter
Sullivan Principles · Kairos Document
Disinvestment campaign
South African Police

The Black Sash was a non-violent white women's resistance organization founded in 1955 in South Africa by Jean Sinclair. The Black Sash initially campaigned against the removal of Coloured or mixed race voters from the voters' roll in the Cape Province by the National Party government. As the apartheid system began to reach into every aspect of South African life, Black Sash members demonstrated against the Pass Laws and the introduction of other apartheid legislation. Its members "used the relative safety of their privileged racial classification to speak out against the erosion of human rights in the country. Their striking black sashes were worn as a mark of mourning and to protest against the succession of unjust laws. But they were not only on the streets. Volunteers spent many hours in the national network of advice offices and in the monitoring of courts and pass offices." (Speech by Marcella Naidoo, National Director of the Black Sash, June 2005)

Between 1955 and 1994, the Black Sash provided widespread and visible proof of white resistance towards the apartheid system. Its members worked as volunteer advocates to families affected by apartheid laws; held regular street demonstrations; spoke at political meetings; brought cases of injustice to the attention of their Members of Parliament, and kept vigils outside Parliament and government offices. Many members were vilified within their local white communities, and it was not unusual for women wearing the black sash to be physically attacked by supporters of apartheid.

The Black Sash's resistance movement came to an end in the early 1990s with the end of apartheid, the unbanning of the ANC and the release of Nelson Mandela from imprisonment. However, the organisation was reformed in 1995 as a non-racial women's humanitarian organisation.

See also

References

  • Black Sash web site
  • Bernstein, H., 1975. For their triumphs and for their tears - Women in Apartheid South Africa, International Defence & Aid Fund, London, United Kingdom.
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