Flower

Posts Tagged ‘South Africa’

Nelson Mandela’s Birthday: eLibrary Resources for the Classroom

On this day 99 years ago (July 18, 1918), Rolihlahla Mandela was born to the Thembu royal family in the South African village of Mvezo. The world would come to know him as Nelson Mandela, opponent of racialist policies, 27-year prisoner and eventually the first black president of South Africa.

While he is undoubtedly a hero for his pursuit of equality for all South Africans, history is complicated, and Mandela’s life and career provide the opportunity to examine justice, freedom and the moral considerations of revolution. Early protests against apartheid were largely unsuccessful and resulted in retaliation by the white-minority government. Mandela and others in the African National Congress came to the conclusion that armed resistance was necessary. This brings up some questions. “What is the difference between a struggle against an unjust government and a terrorist movement (which is what some called the ANC’s efforts)?” “Can the same question be asked in relation to the American Revolution?” “How did the West view Mandela and the situation in South Africa at the time?”

Mandela and President F. W. de Klerk negotiated a new constitution that would ensure rights for all and agreed on elections that would enfranchise the country’s majority black population–efforts that won them a Nobel Peace Prize. What cements Mandela’s legacy is his insistence on uniting his country in a climate of fairness. After the apartheid system was defeated and Mandela became president, he rejected a course of retribution against whites and made efforts to bring all of his countrymen together, much to the dissatisfaction of more militant voices. He helped form the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated crimes committed by both the government and the African National Congress.

Nelson Mandela Research Topic

Nelson Mandela Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

ProQuest’s eLibrary can supplement your classes’ discussions of Mandela, African history, human rights and matters of justice. Besides all of the great articles, websites and other resources available in eLibrary that can be discovered while searching, also look for relevant Research Topics that can provide background, context and points of view. Here is a sampling:

Nelson Mandela

Apartheid in South Africa

F. W. de Klerk

South Africa

Human Rights

Imperialism

Happy Birthday, Desmond Tutu!

Desmond Tutu Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

Desmond Tutu Research Topic via ProQuest eLibrary

This Friday marks the 85th birthday of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.  One of the most revered religious leaders and social justice activists in the world, Archbishop Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his leadership and work in the campaign to eradicate apartheid in South Africa.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born October 7, 1931 in Klerksdorp, South Africa.  When he was 12, his family moved to Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city.  It was an experience there that helped form his future.  While standing on a street corner with his mother, a priest walked by and took off his hat in a show of respect to Tutu’s mother.  This would have been just another encounter except the considerate priest was white — a significant moment for young Desmond in apartheid South Africa where blacks were regarded inferior.  Tutu would later become friends with the priest, Trevor Huddleston.  Huddleston believed in racial equality and became a leading voice in the anti-apartheid movement.  Tutu’s friendship with Huddleston helped grow his Anglican faith and and influenced his decision to become an Anglican priest.

Desmond Tutu wanted to help people, and he became a teacher which is where his passion for social justice first came into play.  After the government changed the curriculum for his black students to lesser than white students and separated the races in all educational facilities (Bantu Education Act of 1953), Tutu and his fellow teachers protested, and he eventually left his position.  In 1976, after becoming the bishop of Lesotho, Tutu gained international recognition for leading peaceful protests of apartheid bringing light to the rights of black South Africans.  For encouraging change and reconciliation between blacks and whites in South Africa, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Known as the “politician-preacherman”, Desmond Tutu has never been one to back away from a cause in which he believes, especially those dealing with human rights.  Despite his retirement in 1996, Archbishop Tutu continues to fight for racial equality around the world.  Other causes he champions are HIV/AIDS awareness and eradication in Africa, poverty and income inequality,  condemnation of anti-gay laws and interfaith dialogue and inclusion.

To learn more about Desmond Tutu and other human rights activists and/or Nobel Peace Prize winners, visit eLibrary.  You will find a wealth of information, both historical and current.

 

CultureGrams: Over 100 New Videos!

We’ve recently added 102 new videos to the CultureGrams video collection! These unique videos, produced by CultureGrams editors from footage submitted from contributors around the world, highlight many aspects of daily life and culture for 11 countries.

We’re offering two of these in full to non-subscribers via YouTube, so share with your colleagues and friends!

Kids collect water in the Central African Repbulic . . .

and musicians and dancers perform in Ethiopia.

You can also witness scenes from Burkina Faso’s revolution, attend a wedding in Cameroon, watch a dance competition in DR Congo, join the world in commemorating South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, shiver with ice swimmers in Hungary, ride the tube in the UK, and much more.

Special thanks to our prolific contributor Salym Fayad for providing beautiful, culturally important footage for so many of these videos.

All 728 videos in the CultureGrams collection are available for streaming and download. Feel free to incorporate these videos into presentations or use them for other educational purposes. Or watch them just for the fun of it. Enjoy!

Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (October 2nd)

Gandhi Research Topic

Gandhi Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Many of us may only know of Gandhi from the 1982 film featuring Ben Kingsley, but his is a life well worth studying and emulating. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born October 2, 1869. Revered the world over for his non-violent philosophy of passive resistance, Gandhi is known by his followers as “Mahatma,” or “the Great-Soul.” He is also called “Bapu” because he is considered the father of modern India. As a young man, he studied law and moved to South Africa where he lived for almost 20 years. Gandhi was appalled by the discrimination he experienced as an Indian immigrant there. After World War I, he became the leading figure in India’s struggle to gain independence from Great Britain.

India Research Topic

India Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Gandhi lived modestly and wore the traditional Indian dhoti and shawl. He was a vegetarian and a devout Hindu. He struggled to alleviate poverty, liberate women and put an end to the caste system, with the ultimate objective being self-rule for India. Gandhi was imprisoned several times during his pursuit of non-cooperation with British authorities. Gandhi began a series of hunger strikes in protest of the treatment of India’s so-called “untouchables” (the poorer classes), whom he renamed Harijans, or “children of God.” His fasting caused an uproar among his followers and resulted in swift reforms by the Hindu community and the government. Gandhi’s campaign of civil disobedience against British rule began with the Dandi Salt March of 1930, in which he and supporters completed a 20-day walk to the Arabian Sea in protest of the British salt tax.

Hinduism Research Topic

Hinduism Research Topic via ProQuest’s eLibrary

Britain granted India independence in 1947, but split the country into 2 dominions: India (Hindu) and Pakistan (Muslim). Gandhi opposed partition, but later agreed to it. After Partition in 1947, he continued to work toward peace between Hindus and Muslims. Gandhi was assassinated in Delhi in January 1948 by Hindu fundamentalist Nathuram Godse. One million people followed the procession as Gandhi’s body was carried through the streets of Delhi and cremated on the banks of the Jumna (Yamuna) River. His birthday is a national holiday in India (Gandhi Jayanti) and is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi’s practice of non-violence has had a global impact, influencing such civil rights leaders as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela.
This week would be a good time to use eLibrary to learn more about Gandhi and India’s struggle for self-rule.

CultureGrams: 174 New Videos!

We’ve recently added 174 new videos to the CultureGrams video collection! These unique videos, produced by CultureGrams editors from footage submitted from contributors around the world, highlight many aspects of daily life and culture for 16 countries.

Watch young dancers perform in Côte d’Ivoire . . .

 

vendors sell their goods at a floating market in Thailand . . .

 

men weave cloth in Guinea-Bissau . . .

 

and people celebrate New Year’s in Cambodia . . .

You can also visit the traditional Malian drummer Boubou in his mud  house, learn how to make Colombia’s national dish of sancocho, shop at a fish market in Sri Lanka, root for South African veterinarians as they try to guide a sedated rhino into a trailer, and much more.

Special thanks to our prolific contributor Salym Fayad for providing beautiful, culturally important footage for so many of these videos.

All 612 videos in the CultureGrams collection are available for streaming and download in QT/MP4 and WMV formats. Feel free to incorporate these videos into presentations or use them for other educational purposes. Or watch them just for the fun of it. After all, it doesn’t get much better than a Thai hotel clerk singing karaoke at his desk while being bathed in a light show of his own creation.