Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

June 14, 1986

One June 14, 1986, the New York Amsterdam News reported on a “Remember Soweto” march that the paper expected would be the largest anti-apartheid demonstration in the city’s history. “The event will commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Soweto uprising that began in the Johannesburg, S.A. ghetto June 16, 1976,” Simon Anekwe wrote. “The day had started with thousands of Black school children peacefully protesting apartheid. That long day that never ended saw the students being beaten, tear-gassed, jailed and some 600 actually murdered. Many had bullets that entered their backs as they ran from the guns of police and security forces sent into action by the racist regime. But the deaths of their loved ones only fired up the people’s determination to struggle for equality as human beings in their own native land” (click to view article PDF).

The New York Anti-Apartheid Coordinating Council, which organized the tenth anniversary demonstration, stated: “We are calling on people of goodwill in the greater New York area to come together for a massive rally to demonstrate our support for the people of South Africa and to reiterate our demand for divestment, sanctions and boycotts to finally force an end to apartheid.”

In August 1976, just weeks after the Soweto Uprising, the Amsterdam News published an editorial “Soweto or Birmingham?”: “The pictures of dogs, brutality, and viciousness coming out of Soweto, South Africa is a grim reminder of the struggle that was waged against racism here in America...a struggle that still continues...The struggle in Soweto, South Africa is not only an extension of our struggle it is our struggle.“

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