Overview

This first chapter outlines South Africa’s early history, from native groups living in the region to Europeans settling and gradually exercising colonial control over African peoples. This period of colonization helped shape how these groups conceived of their identities as well as how they saw others.

Essential Questions

  • How does history impact the way people see themselves and others?
  • How much do people control their own identities, and how much are their identities shaped by culture, society, and the political system?
  • How do our identities influence the choices that we make and the choices available to us?

 

Introduction
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Before Apartheid

Understand the origins of racial and ethnic division and discrimination between native South African tribes, the first European settlers, and later European colonizers in the South African region.

Reading 1 of 6
Democracy & Civic Engagement

African Identities

South African leader Nelson Mandela shares a transformative memory from his school years that affected his understanding of his identity as a Xhosa and an African.

Reading 2 of 6
Democracy & Civic Engagement

My Name

Consider the importance of African naming practices in South African poet Magoleng wa Selepe’s poem about the effects of colonialism on African identity.

Reading 3 of 6
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Indian Identities: Mohandas K. Gandhi

Mohandas K. Gandhi recalls his early participation in nonviolent resistance against discrimination against Indians in South Africa.

Reading 4 of 6
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Afrikaner Identity

Examine the tension between two white European groups in South Africa, the Afrikaners (formerly Boers) and the English, in Afrikaner politician Francis Reitz’s A Century of Wrong.

Reading 5 of 6
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Africans Resist White Control

Explore the responses by leaders of the African National Congress to the new Union of South Africa government’s racially motivated Native Lands Act of 1913.

Reading 6 of 6
Democracy & Civic Engagement

Mines in South Africa

Explore the responses by leaders of the African National Congress to the new Union of South Africa government’s racially motivated Native Lands Act of 1913.

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Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.