Ezekiel Mphalele left his home country to escape persecution by the apartheid government. He lived in exile in Nigeria, Paris, and the United States, where he taught university classes. He talks about his work as a writer and the pernicious forms of racism he experienced in America.
South African poet and anti-apartheid activist Dennis Brutus was in part responsible for blocking his home country's athletes from participating in the Olympic games. After leaving the country to avoid political persecution, he now faces possible deportation from the United States.
Because of her anti-racist actions against the South African government, Adelaide Tambo left her home country and now lives in England with her husband. She believes it is crucial to fight racism in local communities across the world, particularly for the sake of black women, who face particularly severe oppression.
Bishop Desmond Tutu is an Anglican parish priest in Soweto, South Africa. Tutu is the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, and is one of the most prominent figures in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Tutu is seen as a moderate, and does not endorse violence. He travels extensively to mobilize support for the cause. His passport has been revoked twice.
Athol Fugard is a white South African playwright, director, and actor. His work as a playwright is acclaimed for exploring the social and psychological consequences of apartheid. Fugard formed an integrated theater company in the 1960s in defiance of South African norms. Many of his plays have been produced in the United States.
Dennis Brutus is an exiled South African poet. Brutus was active in the anti-apartheid movement in the country which led to his imprisonment and eventual exile. Brutus moved to the United Stated in 1970, and gained permanent residence status in 1983 after a struggle in which the U. S. attempted to deport him. Brutus joins the show to give his impressions of the South African government's proposed reforms and the current violent ant-apartheid protests in the country, as well as read several of his poems.
Exiled black South African poet Dennis Brutus describes his ordeal while imprisoned for his anti-apartheid organizing, and discusses his decision to sign an exit visa which prohibits him from returning.
Zakes Mokae built his career on the success of early roles in plays by Athol Fugard, a white South African who was against apartheid. Mokae joins Fresh Air to discuss the importance of those plays within the context of his home country.
White anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman identifies ways in which recent reforms passed by the South African government have led to some desegregation. She believes that the recent sanctions advocated by the Reagan administration will have little impact on her home country's racist policies.
Donald Woods, who worked as a reporter in South Africa. While covering the racial unrest there, he befriended Black activist Steve Biko. He was later placed under house arrest when he pressed authorities to investigate Biko's death in prison. A movie based on his work and his friendship with Steve Biko will be released in November.
Actor Danny Glover. He stared with Mel Gibson in "Lethal Weapon," and appeared in "Places in the Heart" and "The Color Purple." He stared over the summer in the Broadway presentation of Athol Fugard's "Master Harold and the Boys." He can been seen on television this Sunday night in "Mandela," an HBO presentation.
Film Critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Cry Freedom," starring Kevin Kline as South African journalist Donald Woods, and Denzel Washington as anti-apartheid activist Stephen Biko. The movie portrays the friendship that developed between Woods, a white reporter, and Biko, one of the leading foes of apartheid. "Cry Freedom" is directed by Richard Attenborough.
Exiled South African singer Miriam Makeba. At 20, she became the lead vocalist for a top South African band. And when her performances brought her international acclaim, she used her forum to speak out against Apartheid. She was subsequently banned from her native country, and then later from America for her marriage to the radical Stokely Carmichael. For the past 20 years, she's toured with her mentor, singer Harry Belafonte, and last year she toured with Paul Simon's Graceland Tour.