Coming to Terms With the Past: Soweto June 16th, 1976

Gary Baines explains that the ANC government has institutionalized memories of the Soweto uprising in its efforts to build a new national identity in South Africa.

On June 16th, 1976, the South African police opened fire on a mass march of school students from Soweto, a township southwest of Johannesburg, killing at least twenty-three. What had begun as a peaceful demonstration quickly escalated into a revolt characterized by attacks on symbols of state power in black townships. The Soweto uprising proved to be a watershed in the demise of the apartheid regime.

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