1-12 of 12 results  for:

  • 1877–1928: The Age of Segregation and the Progressive Era x
  • Civil Rights x
  • Government (Foreign) x
Clear all


Ryan Irwin

South African Prime Minister (1978–1984) and executive state President (1984–1989), was born 12 January 1916 on a farm near the town of Paul Roux in Orange Free State. An Afrikaner by birth, Botha is commonly referred to as either “P.W.” or “Die Groot Krokodil” (The Great Crocodile). His parents, Pieter Willem and Hendrina, were influenced greatly by the South African War (Second Anglo-Boer War).

Upon completing his education in the early 1930s, Botha worked as a reporter and a National Party organizer in South Africa’s Western Province. He flirted briefly with a pro-Nazi organization named Ossewabrandwag in the years before World War II but ended his connections to the group in 1941. Following a stint as a government information officer during the war, Botha was elected to Parliament as a National Party representative in 1948 He was appointed Deputy Interior Minister ten years later ...


Alonford James Robinson

Pieter Willem Botha was raised in a militantly nationalistic Afrikaner family in the Eastern Cape. His mother’s first husband was killed in the Boer War (1899–1902), in which his father also fought for the Boers. At an early age Botha himself became an Afrikaner nationalist, leaving the University of Orange Free State Law School in 1935 to help found the National Party. A year later he became public information officer for the party and served on the Sauer Commission, the agency that helped to formulate the National Party’s racial program.

In 1948 Botha proved instrumental in helping D. F. Malan and the National Party come to power. That year he won a seat in Parliament, representing the Eastern Cape district of George. As a reward for party loyalty, Botha was appointed to a series of cabinet positions in the apartheid-era governments of Hendrik Verwoerd and Balthazar Johannes Vorster ...


Hilary Jones

the first black African elected to Senegal’s seat in the Chamber of Deputies of the French National Assembly, was born to a family of domestic workers who served the métis (mulatto) and French elite. His father, Niokhar Diagne, came from the Serer ethnic group and worked as a cook. His mother, Gnagna Preira, worked as a domestic. She traced her maternal lineage to the Lebou population of Rufisque and her paternal line to the Afro-Portuguese of today’s Guinea-Bissau. While a distant ancestor may have been Portuguese, the family never considered themselves métis, and Diagne always presented himself as purely African. The Diagne family, like other Senegalese of Gorée, attended the Catholic Church on the island and sent their son to the local primary school run by the Catholic order.

Born in 1872 on Gorée Island Diagne entered a world shaped by the expansion of French imperialism in Senegal s ...


Born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Albert John Luthuli was educated at the mission school in which he later taught (1921–1936). The son of well-respected Zulu parents, Luthuli was elected chief of the Zulu Abasemakholweni ethnic group in Groutville in 1936. He joined the African National Congress, a black political group, in 1946 and took an increasingly active role in campaigns to abolish Apartheid, the system of racial segregation in South Africa. In 1952 he was removed as chief by the South African government, which opposed his activities, and was forbidden to enter major South African cities and towns for one year. That same year he was elected president-general of the African National Congress. Because of his continued political activities, he was restricted to his farm in Groutville for two years in 1953, and again in 1959 for five years For ...


Chris Saunders

first apartheid-era prime minister of South Africa (served from 1948 to 1954), was of Huguenot descent, and born not far from Cape Town. He was educated at Victoria College in Stellenbosch and then the University of Utrecht, where he completed a doctorate of divinity in 1905. Returning to South Africa in the aftermath of the Anglo-Boer war, he was ordained as a minister of the Dutch Reformed Church and was given a post at a church in the Transvaal before moving back to the Cape. Believing strongly that Afrikaans should be given equal recognition to English, he was a founding member of the Afrikaanse Taalvereeniging (Union for the Afrikaans language).

When J. B. M. Hertzog broke with Prime Minister Louis Botha to form the new National Party (NP) in 1914 Malan supported Hertzog He joined the National Party the following year when he gave up his position ...


The first black president of South Africa, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela became a worldwide symbol of resistance to the injustice of his country’s Apartheid system. Imprisoned for more than twenty-seven years, and before that banned from all public activity and hounded by police for nearly a decade, Mandela led a struggle for freedom that mirrored that of his black compatriots. After his 1990 release from Victor Verster prison, his work to end apartheid won him the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize (which he shared with South African president F. W. de Klerk) and then the presidency itself a year later.

Mandela’s father, Chief Henry Mandela, was a member of the Thembu people’s royal lineage; his mother was one of the chief’s four wives. Mandela was born in Mvezo, Umtata, but grew up in Qunu, a small village in what is now the Eastern Cape Province At the age of ...


former president of South Africa (1994–1999), African National Congress (ANC) leader, and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born on 18 July 1918 in the rural village of Mvezo near Mthatha in rural Transkei The youngest of four sons he imbibed ideas of honor and humaneness and stories of resistance to white invasion from his Xhosa culture clan and family Descended from a minor or Left Hand royal house of the Thembu people his father Gadla Henry Mphakanyiswa served as councilor to the Thembu paramount chief but after protesting aspects of white domination was deposed as village headman by the government After his father s early death Mandela was groomed for a local leadership role by the paramount regent Jongintaba Mandela s given name was Rolihlahla troublemaker and his clan name Madiba reconciler would remain a praise name and term of affection in years to come symbolizing his ...


Don Flynn

Right‐wing Conservative politician whose inflammatory speeches increased popular support for anti‐immigration policies and led to his sacking from the Shadow Cabinet.

Despite his later prominence, John Enoch Powell was a relative latecomer to race and immigration politics in the United Kingdom. The trailblazers for controls on ‘coloured’ immigration were active from 1954 onwards, led in Parliament by Cyril Osbourne, the MP for Louth, Lincolnshire—a region that in his day had virtually no black immigrants. Though active in Parliament from 1950, Powell made no grand pronouncements in support of immigration restrictions until 1964.

Following on from his careers as Professor of Greek at Sydney University and during the Second World War a brigadier in the British Army in India Powell entered politics after the war in the role of staunch defender of the British Empire Seeking a position in the Conservative Party s research department he described himself ...


Robert Fay

Born at Cape Coast in 1864, John Mensah Sarbah (also known as Kofi Mensah) was the first son of John and Sarah Sarbah. He attended the Cape Coast Wesleyan School and the Taunton School in England. Sarbah studied law at Lincoln’s Inn in London and in 1887 was the first Gold Coast African admitted to the bar.

Upon his return to Cape Coast, Sarbah established a successful law practice. He considered the traditional political institutions of the Gold Coast basically democratic in nature, and devoted his legal expertise to modernizing these institutions and integrating them into the colony’s legal apparatus. At the same time, he fought for laws protecting Africans from colonial oppression and exploitation. Among his many accomplishments, Sarbah, with the help of Joseph Casely-Hayford, succeeded in defeating the Lands Bill of 1897 which would have ignored traditional property rights and allowed the British government to dispose ...


Raymond Suttner

leading South African communist and antiapartheid activist, was treated by the apartheid regime as its key enemy. At the same time he had a heroic image among the oppressed black majority as a white person totally dedicated to liberation.

Slovo, whose birth name was Yossel Mashel, was born into poverty in Obel, a village in Lithuania, the son of Yiddish-speaking parents, who were isolated from the Lithuanian community by their language and by anti-Semitism. His father left Obel when Joe was two years old to find a better environment. Settling in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a fruit hawker, it was six years before the father could send for his family. Joe arrived in 1936 then ten years old According to his daughter Gillian the Slovo family were on the lowest rung of the newly arrived Jewish community but the color of their skin opened a world of opportunity denied ...


Deborah Posel

Prime Minister of South Africa from 1958 to 1966, was born on 8 September 1901 in Amsterdam, Holland. His father, Wilhelm, took his family to South Africa in 1903 with the ambition of becoming a clergyman in the Dutch Reformed Church. After a mobile childhood, Hendrik completed his schooling in the Orange Free State in 1917 and proceeded to the University of Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. A gifted student, he achieved his PhD in psychology (cum laude) in 1924 at the age of twenty-three. After marrying in 1927, he and his wife, Betsie, produced seven children.

Verwoerd’s working life began with an appointment in the Psychology Department at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1932 he became the country s first professor of Social Work in the University s newly created Department of Sociology and Social Work Verwoerd developed an academic interest in the issue of race ...


Born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Hendrik Verwoerd was a professor of sociology and editor of an Afrikaans nationalist newspaper in South Africa before he was appointed senator in 1948. Rising to cabinet posts, he was made minister of native affairs in 1950 and was responsible for engineering much ...