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Why Did Black Opposition to Apartheid Change in the 1960s and 1970's?

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History Coursework Why Did Black Opposition to Apartheid Change in the 1960s and 1970's? Black opposition to apartheid didn't really change much but it then changed significantly after the 1960's due to several major incidents that caused riots and distress amongst South African people, as well as its government. On March, 21st, 1960, a terrible and horrific event occurred when South African police began shooting on crowd of black protesters; the cause of this event was simply due to the fact of the, 1923, law that was introduced this law was intrusive and restricted black south Africans movements and thus the 'Pass Law' was introduced. Leading up to the Sharpeville massacre, the Apartheid-supporting National Party government under the leadership of Hendrik Verwoerd used this law to enforce further segregation on black people. ...read more.


They would react to public demonstrations of anger against injustice with extreme violence. Resultantly, the demonstrators also decided to use violence instead. The blacks wanted to fight for their rights and they became more forceful because they realised that peaceful protests such as the defiance campaign didn't affect the South African government decision, although it won them a lot of publicity. Also, they intended that the Sharpeville demonstrations would be peaceful but they actually resulted in 69 black deaths. When Mandela was caught by the police and sentenced for life imprisonment in 1964, although it crippled the MK, it must have made them more determined to bring equality into South Africa and end apartheid. After hearing about the Rivonia trial, the black people probably looked upon Mandela as their idol and he probably also inspired them to bring an end to apartheid - this determination also would have led to more assertiveness and use of violence. ...read more.


The leader of this new movement was Steve Biko who taught the Blacks to celebrate their "blackness", because he believed that to achieve equality, blacks must first learn to respect themselves. Most members of the Blacks Consciousness Movement were better educated and younger blacks who had been influenced by Biko and therefore angry about the way they had been treated. They would consequently be more determined to use violence to bring an end to apartheid. In conclusion the most important factor which explains why black opposition changed from peaceful to violent is probably the Sharpeville shooting because the ANC and PAC realised that their peaceful tactics to bring down apartheid were making the situation worse rather than helping the campaign for the liberation of the people of South Africa and resulted in the use of violence. ...read more.

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