Leaders for Social and Political Change

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Leaders for social and political change
Michelle Clark
WGU
Themes in U.S. and World History
GKE

August 1, 2013

Leaders for social and political change
Over the course of history, there have been many battle stories, both political and social of how nations have become what we know today. Among these stories are those of social injustices, hatred, and racism, as well as personal and political struggles. From the many injustices our predecessors have overcome, leaders have emerged. Individuals who will forever be revered by millions and will hopefully continue to inspire our youth. Nelson Mandela and Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. are two leaders that have greatly impacted not only their country, but the world. Both of these leaders had a significant impact on the people of their cause, both in a political aspect as well as for social change.
In 1948, The White Nationalist Party empowered South Africa, instituting apartheid in an attempt to ensure white domination, control over the economy and its social systems. There were three racial categories for South Africa; Whites, Colored (mostly Indians or Asians, or multiracial), and Blacks (African decent). Non-white people were impoverished, humiliated, and oppressed. Black people were required to live in rural areas and carry a passbook containing their fingerprints, photo and information on access to non-black areas. If they were caught without a passbook, severe penalties ensued. On March 21, 1960, a group marched into Sharpeville in a peaceful protest against carrying these “passbooks”. The result was 67 people dead and 180 wounded at the hands of the law enforcement. This event is known as the Sharpeville Massacre, and is only one example of the brutality that blacks incurred during the time of the apartheid. Nelson Mandela was at the forefront of the fight for equality in South Africa (Nathan,…...

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