SNHU Historical Context and Introduction Essay

I need help writing an introduction ending with a solid thesis statement for my history project research on South African Apartheid. During our last discussion post this is what I posted. Now I have to develop into an intro with thesis in about 2-3 pages in length.

I have always been into supporting civil rights violations and civil upsets; therefore, I naturally gravitated to researching South African Apartheid. I did not have much knowledge in this subject as I was very young when this was occurring. I already knew that South African Apartheid had to do with racial segregation and ensued endemic brutality to the black people of South Africa. In addition, black women endured not only violence but also rape, they were also not allowed to obtain an education. During my research, it became very evident that blacks in South Africa were stripped of their dignity. Racial segregation began in 1948 when it became the law in South Africa and ended with the help of Nelson Mandela in 1994. I knew I needed to research a lot more to gain a better understanding. I began to develop my important questions to get me started, however, I quickly learned that they were too vague; I needed more nuts and bolts to narrow down my research.

I ended up asking the why’s and how’s. How did Apartheid come to exist in South Africa when South Africa is predominantly non-white? What happened to the people of South Africa during Apartheid? What are the lasting effects of Apartheid? In order to get these questions answered, I needed to know why does this matter. These questions matter because in a society that is predominantly black were being overtaken by the minority race of white citizens. What happened exactly to the power of black that the white citizens could feel they were a superior race? These questions should matter to society because racism still occurs today and if we as a nation do not figure out why would any race feel they should be superior over any other person(s), race, color, religion, then we are doomed to never stop history from repeating itself. Racism has a huge negative effect on society as whole. I think we need to know the lasting effects of racism in South Africa.

To help me get closer to establishing context, I came across this website that has a compilation of 40 hours of interviews with 60 individuals that went lived through the struggles of anti-apartheid. These individuals described how their lives were prior to apartheid and their experience during where they witnessed their black family and friends lose their dignity and their homes. This is one of my main primary sources: “South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid Building Democracy”. I am also using two secondary sources: “A Path Through Hard Grass: A Journalist’s Memories of Exile and Apartheid” and Restoring Hope Where All Hope Was Lost: Nelson Mandela, the ICRC and the protection of political detainees in Apartheid South Africa”.

Through discrimination and racism in South Africa, Apartheid was born when The National Party became power and made law in 1948 and went on until 1994 when it was eradicated thanks to Nelson Mandela. Apartheid which means “apartness” supported white supremacy. These white settlers were Dutch and British descendants who wanted all blacks to be segregated and work for them. The blacks had to move from their homes even if they lived in black communities. The violence against black South African women had increased. Apartheid stripped South African black people of their dignity through horrific violence, segregation, living displacement, cease of education, and being forced to show documentation when they wanted to go into a community that they have business in that community.