Lesson 12: Discussion, The Address Book (South Africa)
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For this lesson, you were asked to read Chapter 12 “South Africa.” South Africa’s history of racial and ethnic disparities and injustices did not vanish abruptly with the end of apartheid. The struggle for equality for all South Africans continues, and one conspicuous item is the names of the streets. History, language, race, religion, and politics combine to make the naming of streets a contentious legal issue that often ends in the Constitutional Court of South Africa. In 1994, Nelson Mandela strove to mend the hearts of the people by reaching out to the Afrikaans in gestures of friendship to promote reconciliation. However, he expressed reservations about renaming streets, fearing violence, and disrupting the tenuous peace. Some in South Africa now criticize Mandela for not going far enough noting the still existing disparities between the White minority and the Black majority.
Often a visual is the best method to understand differences in living conditions. Here is a Youtube video Links to an external site.of aerial footage of an area in South Africa. For more explanation, watch the interview of Johnny Miller Links to an external site., the drone photographer.
For this lesson’s discussion in 150 – 250 words:
Reflect and Write: Consider the importance of language and history in South Africa, then answer one or more of the following questions. Who should be honored by having a street named after them? Why do you believe the name of a street is so important that people are willing to fight so hard against a renaming? Elmien du Plessis, a law professor, and Afrikaaner was quoted in the chapter saying, “How do we remember and say the past happened without looking as if we are celebrating our past?” (217). What is your opinion?
Why do you believe the name of a street is so important that people are willing to fight so hard against a renaming?
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Lesson 12: Discussion, The Address Book (South Africa)
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