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The Impact of Music During Apartheid

In: Film and Music

Submitted By arkoss
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Amandla! Film Essay
Abigail Koss
September 16, 2015

The Impact of Music During Apartheid Amandla! A Revolution in Four-Part Harmony is a 2002 documentary film directed by Lee Hirsch that describes the struggle the black South Africans faced during apartheid. Activists and musicians discuss the days of apartheid. The film has a collection of musical performances, interviews, and historical footage. Amandla is a Zulu and Xhosa word that means power. It was a common rally word used in resistance to Apartheid. The black South Africans also used music to show resistance to apartheid. During the film, several musicians and activists discussed the role of music. Some argued that the music would not have been possible without the mistreatment the black South Africans experienced, while others argued that the music already had a strong influence on the African societies, and the revolution against apartheid would not have been possible without music. In my opinion, the system of apartheid caused the creation of many different songs by the black South Africans, and these particular songs would not have been possible without the struggle during this time. However, I also believe that the music they created was a way for the blacks to become determined for equality and ultimately revolt against the government. Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party, the white government of South Africa, from 1984 to 1994. Apartheid is an Afrikaans word that literally means, “the state of being apart” or “apart-hood.” The government segregated schools, beaches, medical care, and other public services. Also, millions of black South Africans were forced to leave their homes and live in impoverished townships, where they were denied the basic rights of African citizenship. For a time, blacks were required to carry a passbook that contained a photo ID,...

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