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South Africa




Bird Songs from South Africa

South African folk singer Tony Bird performs his songs for Fresh Air and answers questions about the political dimensions of his art.


A South African Writer on His Return

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.


Fighting Apartheid While Fleeing Persecution

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.


An Anti-Apartheid Activist in England

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's Struggle Against South African Apartheid.

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 His passport has been revoked twice.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 Shines a Light on the Effects of South African Apartheid.

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 on His Poetry and South African Politics.

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.


South African Poet and Activist, Dennis Brutus.

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.

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