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Supplemental Materials

Supplemental Materials include online resources to accompany the printed unit, links to resources on other sites and a list of recommended print resources.


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South Africa

Freedom in Our Lifetime: South Africa's Struggle

Fourth edition.


Freedom in Our Lifetime: South Africa's Struggle explores the dilemma faced by black South Africans in the early 1960s of how best to battle the racial discrimination imposed by the apartheid system.

The curriculum addresses the development of apartheid, the responses to it, and the decision by some members of the anti-apartheid community to use violence to protest the government's policies. This question−whether the use of violence against an oppressive regime is justified−has been discussed at length in recent years, often without a clear answer. This unit will introduce students to one instance in which violence was used, and will allow them to consider that question in the South African case.


The reading is intended to prepare students to consider thoughtfully the complexities of South African society. Students will explore the history of South Africa and the development of a race-based society, the effects of apartheid on individuals, and the challenges to the system of apartheid, and the end of apartheid and South Africa's transition to a democratic, multi-racial society.

The Choices Role Play

This curriculum presents students with three distinct options anti-apartheid activists considered in June 1961: whether to continue using non-violent methods of resistance, develop a sabotage program, or encourage random guerrilla attacks against the government and apartheid supporters.


Colonial South Africa
By examining a series of letters from a Sotho king to the British government in South Africa, students consider the consequences of the Boers' Great Trek on one African society.

Poetry and Politics
Students explore the relationship between political events and literature through close readings of 1950s poetry from South Africa.

Role-Playing the Three Options
Students work cooperatively using primary sources to present the three options that anti-apartheid groups debated at the time.

Violence as Protest
Students analyze the effectiveness of the use of violence to oppose apartheid, consider the morality of armed struggle, and clarify their own views on the use of violence as a means to an end.

The Soweto Uprising Through Primary Sources
students explore the Soweto student uprisings of 1976 through testimony given at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings.

Steve Biko and Black Consciousness
Students interpret the writings of Steve Biko