And we were (‘member yesterday’s fact?)…

WHY are we STILL talking about movies? Because the Oscars are a’comin, y’all! And it’s almost time for Oscar movie madness!
(new people: I’m going to spend this weekend watching every. single. movie. that is nominated for Best Picture. In my sweats. On my friend’s couch)
Relatedly, this may mean that tomorrow’s fact is a flashback fact because I’m only here for a half a day.
And half days mean I’m busier than a cat coverin’ up shit on a marble floor (that’s CRAZY BUSY)before I skate out of here.

Back to my story, though.

When I found out TCM was showing all those Oscar nominated/winning musicals for 31 days, I got all excited and started looking up movies.
What I learned was that most of my favorites were not nominated/didn’t win an Oscar*.
No Rent. No Hairspray. And no Sarafina!

Because of COURSE one of my favorite musicals is about #Resistance.
Sarafina, which was shot on location, is a musical based on the students involved in the Soweto Riots in South Africa.
:::clears throat and pushes up my glasses:::

Black South African high school students in Soweto protested against the Afrikaans Medium Decree of 1974, which forced all black schools to use Afrikaans and English in a 50–50 mix as languages of instruction. The Regional Director of Bantu Education told Circuit Inspectors and Principals of Schools that from 1 January 1975, Afrikaans had to be used for mathematics, arithmetic, and social studies from standard five (7th grade), according to the Afrikaans Medium Decree; English would be the medium of instruction for general science and practical subjects. Indigenous languages would only be used for religious instruction, music, and physical culture.

The association of Afrikaans with apartheid prompted black South Africans to prefer English. While all schools had to provide instruction in both Afrikaans and English as languages, white South African students learned other subjects in their home language. (that is SOME kinda privilege. I bet that if that privilege had a color it would be…white) The decree was resented deeply by blacks, because Afrikaans was widely viewed—in the words of Desmond Tutu, bishop of Lesotho and later Dean of Johannesburg—as “the language of the oppressor”.

The resentment grew until April 1976, when children at Orlando West Junior School in Soweto went on strike, refusing to go to school. Their rebellion then spread to many other schools in Soweto. Black South African students protested because they believed that they deserved to be treated and taught equally to white South Africans (wow, I guess nobody told the people in charge that separate but equal is BULLSHIT). Students formed an Action Committee (later known as the Soweto Students’ Representative Council), which organized a mass rally for June 16, 1976, to make themselves heard. On that morning about 10,000 black students walked from their schools to Orlando Stadium for a rally. The students began the march only to find out that police had barricaded the road along their intended route. The crowd of between 3,000 and 10,000 non-violent students made their way towards the area of the school. Students sang and waved placards with slogans such as, “Down with Afrikaans”, “Viva Azania” and “If we must do Afrikaans, Vorster must do Zulu”

The police set their dog on the protesters, who responded by killing it. The police then began to shoot directly at the children. Emergency clinics were swamped with injured and bloody children. The police requested that the hospital provide a list of all victims with bullet wounds to prosecute them for rioting. The hospital administrator passed this request to the doctors, but the doctors refused to create the list. Doctors recorded bullet wounds as abscesses. (ACCOMPLICES. Not allies. THAT’S what’s up.)

Many white South African citizens were outraged at the government’s actions in Soweto, and about 300 white students from the University of the Witwatersrand marched through Johannesburg’s city center in protest of the killing of children. Black workers went on strike as well and joined them as the campaign progressed. Riots also broke out in the black townships of other cities in South Africa.

The politicization and activism of young South Africans in Soweto and beyond galvanized the liberation movements and set in motion a series of transformations that ultimately led to the demise of apartheid. In remembrance of these events, the 16th of June is now a public holiday in South Africa, named Youth Day.
As you can see, I really enjoy uplifting, heartwarming musicals.

ANYWAYS. That’s today’s fact. I know that with all that’s CURRENTLY happening in the “wonderful” u. s. of a, this may seem like I’m saying that it turns out that all over the world, people view children (and their education) as a threat. But clearly that isn’t what I’m doing. I’m just discussing BLACK HISTORY. And the fact that police in every country are garbage human beings.

*Except Music Man. That’s scheduled for Feb. 18th. West Side Story is March 2nd.
In case you’re interested. And even if you aren’t.
(But if you aren’t, were you raised by savages? Why wouldn’t you want to watch The Music Man or West Side Story? Find you some damn culture. SHIT.)

 

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