Remembering Sharpeville

If you get a long weekend, a day off from school, and it’s a national holiday it’s good to know why. In the United States we lament when Memorial Day is only commemorated by cookouts, but how many of those complaining take any action? I enjoyed a long holiday weekend. I went out of town with a group of friends, but it is good to know why we were given the day off from school.

Mbewu movement

On March 21st, South Africa commemorated one of the most significant days in the nation’s history; Sharpeville Day, which we all formally know as Human Rights’ Day. This day was also declared the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by the United Nations. We celebrate it each year to remind us of the great suffering and loss of life that accompanied the struggle for human rights in South Africa, in particular the brutal murder of 69 and injury of many on 21st March 1960. We remember the sacrifices made by remarkable leaders like Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe. May we never forget their stupendous legacies, their sacrificial fighting spirits. May we educate ourselves and each other about our young nation’s painful past so that we may never take any of the fruits we now reap for granted. Above all this, may our knowledge of the high price paid encourage us…

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