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The Drum, South Africa Issue 
Volume 8, Numbers 1-2 

Editorial, Circulation and 

Advertising Offices 
Located at 427 New Africa House, 
University of Massachusetts 
Amherst, Mass. 01003 


All Letters 

Poems, Contributions 

To The Above Address. 

Copyright by Drum, 
427 New Africa House 
Printing: Hamilton L Newell, Inc. 
Amherst, Mass. 


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4 Editorial Comment 

6 Soutli Africa: The Imprisoned Society Allen Cook 

12 Development of Dual Powers in South Africa Andrew Lukele 

20 A Letter to Chancellor Bromery 

32 Photo Essay: South African Children's Realities 

41 Black and White: Behind the headlines in South Africa 

47 Dateline: Nuremberg, South Africa 

52 A Statement Miss Belinda Martin 

57 An Open Letter on South Africa Playthell Benjamin 

63 The Role of Afrikan Men in the Liberation Struggle 

of the 70s and 80s Nkrumah L. Olinga 

Preface to South Africa Issue 

"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem 
of the colour-line, the relation of the darker to the 
lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and 
the islands of the sea." 

W.E.B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk, 


This issue of Drum is dedicated to our brothers and 
sisters in Soweto, in what is now called South Africa, 
who have begun to move with force and purpose to 
solve in their part of the world the problem that Dr. 
DuBois spoke of. And as we have an Afro-American 
tradition of struggle, so have the captive and oppressed 
peoples of Southern Africa. Since the European inva- 
sion of the 17th century Africans have made many at- 
tempts to alleviate the situation of oppression, degrada- 
tion and poverty that has been the fruit of their contact 
with a 'higher civilization.' One such effort, that of the 
Xhosa peple, led by Makana in the 19th century, evoked 
the following battle song: 

To chase the white men from the earth 

And drive them to the sea 

The sea that cast them up at first 

For Ama Xhosa' s curse and bane 

Howls for the progeny she nursed 

To swallow them again. 

(version quoted in E. Roux, 
Time Longer than Rope) 
Makana and the Xhosa were unsuccessful, the Euro- 
peans remained, but the struggle has continued into the 
twentieth century carried on by such as the A.N.C., 
P.A.C., Poqo and the more recent Black consciousness 
movements in Soweto. These efforts are all part of that 
collective thrust for freedom, justice and equality that is 
the fundamental task of Africans and peoples of 

African descent. The interest shown by Afro- Americans 
in the struggle in Southern Africa, as manifested in this 
issue of Drum, indicates the accuracy of the conception 
of Dr. DuBois, and its vaHdity in the lived experiences 
of Black people. 

The last decades of the twentieth century are crucial 
ones for the world's peoples of color. The problems of 
social, political and economic inequality are still for- 
midable. But if we look to our past to those who have 
struggled before us, we can find words of strength and 
encouragement. Once again, Dr. DuBois: 

"The coming world man is colored. For 
the handful of whites in this world to dream 
that they with their present declining birth 
rate can ever inherit the earth and hold the 
darker millions in perpetual subjection is the 
wildest of wild dreams. Humanity is the goal 
of all good, and no single race, whatever its 
color or deeds, can disinherit God's anointed 

(The Crisis, 1911) 

John Bracey 
W.E.B. DuBois Dept. 
of Afro-American 

March, 1978 


South Africa 

Over the past year, the situation in South Africa has 
become one of grave importance. We are lampooning a 
newly-found international bogeyman, one that we have 
just begun to view as the epitome of all that could, and 
did, go awry with humanity. Apartheid has been in 
South Africa for years now — long enough to have 
become an economically profitable system of govern- 
ment. Foremost in that economic process is the 
perpetuation of a social structure that is revolting to 
most of us. 

South African Blacks comprise over 70% of the 
population, but may occupy only 13 % of the land, and 
receive only 25% of the national income. Blacks may 
not vote or be elected to Parliament, nor may they hold 
a position supervisory to whites. Almost 80% of all 
Blacks live below the Poverty Datum Line, a South 
African government standard which only considers 
food, fuel, and transportation; yet. Blacks must pay for 
their inferior educations. 

If all of this seems reminiscent of our Pre-Civil Rights 
days, consider the United States corporate involvement 
in the African country. We are the second largest in- 
vestor in South Africa, and those investments increased 
400% between I960 and 1970. Inexpensive Black labor 
guarantees a high return rate for the U.S. corporations. 
Black South Africans are being imposed upon and ex- 
ploited in the international arena and in their homeland. 

Our concern for the plight of the Black inhabitants of 
South Africa prompted the staff of DRUM to dedicate 
its energy, and this issue, to South Africa. There was the 
need to expound upon the social and political portents 
of the Apartheid juggernaut. Our expose is the result of 
that need and an obligation to our contributors, our 
readers, and ourselves. 

A Blackman holding his identity card in Capetown, South Africa 

Photo: United Nations 









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photo by Edward Cohen 

The thunder roared 
The lightening cracked 

moving Winds 
of frightening hope 
Shining colors 
of darkened beauty 
A rolling 

goes the sweatbeads. 
Sweatbeads of a long time 


Roar your thunder 
Crack your lightening 
Move your winds 
With unpredictable 
Strength that only your 
darkened beauty 
can master. 

Off with the head of the beast 
Confront him with his own 
falsehood of illtisional lies 
While he blows his own mind. 

Annie Carpenter 
© 1976 


Development of Dual 
Power in South Africa 

Andrew Lukele 

The following talk was given by Brother Lukele at a 
nass meeting held in New York city on November 20, 
1976, attended by ovec 700 people. The meeting — A 
Wight in Solidarity with the Struggle in South 
Africa — was co-sponsored by Karabo, PASO A and 
Youth Against War and Fascism. 

Let me begin by introducing to you the organization I 
am representing tonight, Karabo. Karabo is a group of 
South African political refugees who are presently 
residing in the United States. We remain commit ed to 
the struggle for the liberation of our country. Towards 
that end we have grouped together to undertake tasks 
here which are relevant and helpful to the liberation ef- 
fort in South Africa. As part of that undertaking we 
have joined hands with our comrade organizations, 
PASOA and YAWF, in organizing and sponsoring 
tonight's forum. We wish to thank you all most heartily 
for being with us. 


I should like to make a few remarks, firstly on the im- 
portant subject of solidarity. The need for the solidarity 
of the oppressed peoples in the world stems directly 
from the condition of the world. It is dictated by 
capitalist and imperialist domination which constrains 
the lives of the oppressed millions in the world and 
prevents them and their societies from developing and 
realizing their full capacity. The same interests which 
have, by means of white domination, reduced the 
Blacks in South Africa to mere subjects of super- 
exploitation and political repression; those very same in- 
terests maintain in the western world, in the United 
States, a kind of society which rests on the principles of 
inequality and individual greed, a society which con- 
demns the ordinary person to discrimination of all 
forms, to insecurity, and to painful purposelessness and 
worthlessness — and that in a country which has amassed 
the greatest store of wealth on the earth. 

This is the basis of your solidarity with the oppressed 

in South Africa. The solidarity that we seek to build has 
got to be a strong and enduring solidarity. A fickle tie 
which caters to the momentary urges of self-indulgence 
just cannot do. Our solidarity is a weapon against the 
combined strength of our enemies. And their strength is 
quite enormous. Our solidarity must equal and exceed 
their combined strength. 

How do we achieve such a solidarity of strength? It is 
a solidarity that comes from deep human passion, a pas- 
sion that is fed by conviction and sound knowledge. It is 
nurtured by a deep desire for true freedom. It is an in- 
formed solidarity that we seek. Uninformed acts of 
"solidarity" can be disastrous. They can result in 
assisting the very enemies of the people we believed we 
were helping. We saw that happen in Angola not so long 

Many people in this country and elsewhere gave a 
tremendous amount of moral and material support to 
what they believed were movements of liberation in 
Angola. In fact this support went to organizations such 
as the FNLA and UNITA which, as it turned out, were 
not movements of liberation, but factions which were in 
deep collusion with white racist South Africa and with 
the CIA of the United States. Their aim was to set up in 
Angola a puppet government that would rule in a man- 
ner beneficial to South Africa and to the governments 
of the western countries, the United States especially. 
Had it not been for the vigilance and determination of 
the MPLA — and the splendid revolutionary support of 
the Cubans, a thoroughly reactionary and counter- 
revolutionary government — composed of Black func- 
tionaries of western countries would have been foisted 
on the people of Angola. That, in part, would have been 
the result of ignorant and uninformed acts of solidarity. 

The lesson of Angola is that solidarity must be in- 
formed if it is to be effective. This imposes on 
whomever seeks to express solidarity in action the task 
of making a painstaking and thorough effort to under- 
stand the liberation movement one wishes to support: its 
aims, its principles and methods, and its place in 

But this responsibility of the friends of liberation 


toward the liberation movement is reciprocal. The 
liberation movement has a duty towards those people 
who rally to its support. It has the duty to take them in- 
to its confidence and to reveal to them its view of itself: 
how it looks at its problems; what principles underlie its 
methods and style of operation; and its 
worldview — precisely where it places itself in the con- 
junction of forces on the world scene. 

We in Karabo are keenly aware of the responsibility 
of the movement of liberation in South Africa towards 
people outside its ranks who seek to rally to its support. 
It is for that reason that we undertook, jointly with 
PASOA and YAWF, to invite Broither Jeff Dumo Ba- 
qwa to be with us all tonight. 

Brother Baqwa has played an important role in the 
Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa, 
especially in the South African Students Organization. 
This Movement is at the forefront of the revolutionary 
upsurge which is currently taking place in South Africa. 
Indeed, it is in response to its echoes that you here and 
hundreds of thousands of others in the world outside 
South Africa are stepping forward to pledge support. 
Jeff Baqwa has been in close contact with the Black 
Consciousness Movement from its inception. We have 
no doubt that he will tonight bring you into intimate 
contact with it, so that you can feel the rhythm of the 
movement and follow the logic of its develoment. 


My further remarks, therefore, will be addressed not 
so much to the current disaffection of the masses but to 
attack the entire system of oppression. The sporadic and 
unconnected rebellions of the past have now merged in- 
to a unified and coordinated force of attack. The rumbl- 
ings that we hear in Johannesburg, Pretoria, Capetown, 
and Port Elizabeth are the march steps not of a mere 
section of the population, not just students. In the 
Soweto uprising we hear the beginnings of the march 
steps of the whole Black population. This uprising aims 
at nothing less than the seizure of power. 

What stsmips a revolution with its special character of 
being a revolution is that it goes beyond simply disturb- 
ing the workings of the oppressive system. It demolishes 
the existing structure of power and brings into being its 
own center of command. And it accomplishes this by 
means, not of the existing official organs and institu- 
tions of authority, but by means of its own instruments. 
It establishes a center of command that is alternative 
and rival to the existing state power; and it implements 
its command by means of its own organs — instruments 

which have been fashioned by the people themselves, 
home-made implements, so to speak. In revolution, the 
principle of self-reliance finds its highest expression. 

It is not possible to understand fully the significance 
of the Soweto uprising and the incidents connected with 
it unless one takes a view of the movement as a whole. 
The individual acts and episodes should not be looked at 
in isolation from the thrust of the total movement. 
South Africa has its own special features which are dif- 
ferent from those of other African countries which have 
had their revolutions in recent times. 

Typically, what happened in those other countries 
was that the revolutionary movement was able, relative- 
ly early, to establish its own physical and territorial 
basis of authority. It created a zone which came com- 
pletely under its jurisdiction of command — the liberated 
zone. In South Africa, the establishment by the revolu- 
tionary forces of their center of command has not yet 
taken this tangible, physical form. But the center of 
command has been established most undoubtedly. It ex- 
ists and you can identify it by its results. Let me mention 
only two of these results. 


You will recall that soon after the white racist state 
had fired its first shots at the student demonstrators in 
Soweto, in Alexandra, etc., the Black urban workers 
came out in a massive solidarity effort of their own. 
They downed their tools. This happened in Johan- 
nesburg, Cape Town, and Port Elizabeth, the three 
largest cities in South Africa. I cannot think of a single 
event in the whole history of our struggle against white 
oppression which compares with this event in 
significance. As far as I am aware there has not been a 
place, even in the most highly industrialized countries of 
the West, where workers came out in such large 
numbers, in such solidarity, discipline, and firm deter- 
mination. Make no mistake, this was not an ordinary 
strike about wages, conditions of work, etc. It was an 
extraordinary form of strike action: profoundly 
political in its motivation; and it declared itself political 
in its banners as well. 

It is common knowledge that in South Africa strike 
action by Blacks is prohibited by law. Black trade 
unions do not have legal recognition. But the body of 
Black workers established their strike action as an enor- 
mous fact of life, albeit not of law. Everyone in South 
Africa recognized this fact. Indeed it was recognized 
practically everywhere on this globe. This fact, as a 


reality, was "recognized" even by the South African 
state power, though it continued to rave and say that its 
law did not recognized strikes by Blacks. This sort of 
thing happens only when the law and the state power 
behind it cease having any hold n the social reality, on 
actual events, that is. 

The fact which these strikes so clearly established is 
that the Blacks in South Africa are well on their way to 
establishing their life, as a fact, away from the old order 
of state and law, and independently of the existing 
order. They establish their will; and they implement it 
by their own instruments. This way they place their lives 
on a self-sustaining basis. This is the basis of the 
"power of the people," the concept that governs the 
Black Consciousness Movement in South Africa. 

But we must be careful not to make the terrible 
mistake of believing that the life of the people on a self- 
sustaining basis can exist permanently alongside the old 
order of white dominance. This is the belief which the 
white supremacists have been at pains to foster. 
Towards this end they have created the bantustans, even 
the so-called "independent" bantustans. 

The power of the peple does not develop parallel to 
the existing white state power. It grows at the expense of 
the present white state power; and, as the one grows in 
strength and vitality the other progressively undergoes 
death. The motion is quite like that of the liberation 
movements in the other African countries, notably 
Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, and Angola. The expan- 
sion of the liberated zone inevitably meant the reduction 
of the area of jurisdiction of the forces of colonialism. 
The expansion of our center of command likewise spells 
the erosion of the authority and jurisdiction of the old 
order. In South Africa this is already a fast-growing 


As another illustration of this fact, let me cite an ex- 
cerpt from an article which appeared in yesterday's 
(November 19, 1976) New York Times: 

An elusive student group has emerged as 
the single most powerful group in the black 
township of Soweto except for the police, 
who are busy jailing most of the student ac- 
tivists they find. 

While the Government reviews ways of 
giving blacks more control over their own 
communities, the group known as the 
Soweto Students Representative Council has 
become almost a shadow government in the 

sprawling township outside Johannesburg. 

Recently, after months of close involve- 
ment in the uprisings against apartheid in 
which more than 200 Soweto residents have 
been killed since June, the student group 
declared a period of mourning for the rest of 
the year. 

In a community of more than a million 
people, it was far from clear that an edict 
issued by a group of students, many in their 
teens, the oldest about 25, would have much 

However, the results have been an im- 
pressive demonstration of the power the 
students wield. Whether out of fear of 
retribution or sympathy for the students' 
aims, residents of the township have shown 
remarkable respect for the young people's 
This report issues from a source which is not even 
remotely sympathetic to our movement. The situation, 
which it merely samples, is not confined to Sowete nor 
to the student section of the population. It typifies a 
nation-wide phenomenon. The incontrovertible fact 
that has emerged is that the Black masses in South 
Africa have at last established their center of command. 
The powers that be are frantic; because, try what they 
may, they have been unable to track it down. This is 
because it derives ultimately from the will, passion, and 
determination of the bulk of the oppressed nation. 
There can be no doubt that the initiative in directing 
events has begun to pass over from the rulers to the rul- 
ed. The rulers still retain the instruments of force but 
their capacity for implementing their will is rapidly be- 
ing impaired. Real action and the capacity to initiate it 
are fast gravitating into the hands of the revolutionary 


One of the "Great Lies" of the old order that has 
come tumbling down in the revolutionary process now 
underway in South Africa is the idea fostered by white 
supremacists of the supposed omnipotence of their 
system. The strikes alone have delivered a mortal blow 
to this "Great Lie." The Black workers carried out a 
massive political strike, and demonstrated to themselves 
their own strength and the relative helplessness of the 
state. They became convinced of what they have been 
learning over time; namely, that their labor is the 


LNS Women's Graphics 


greatest force in society; that the entire establishment of 
the white state rests ultimately on the force that comes 
from their combined labor. 

The slogan "power to the people" is no longer a 
statement of hope and aspiration; it is a statement of 
demonstrated fact. It is no longer merely theory, 
because it has seeped down to the level of popular belief 
and prejudice. When as revolutionary a concept as this 
becomes the common property of the people, then there 
is no longer room for the myth that there can exist a 
power above that of the people. When we view the re- 
cent strikes in South Africa from this angle, then their 
significance emerges fully. 

Their significance is derived, in the first place, from 
the nature of South African society itself, the place of 
Black labor and its relation to the mass movement of the 
population. Almost the entire Black population are 
working people. The displacement of the bulk of the 
population from the land, which was effected by the In- 
dustrial Revolution in most European countries, was ac- 
complished by means of force and military conquest in 
South Africa. Consequently, there does not exist in 
South Africa a peasantry properly so-called. Almost the 
entire Black population consists of industrial and 
agricultural laborers. Because of color discrimination 
there is hardly a Black bourgeoisie. The so-called Black 
middle class is extremely small and weak, relative to the 
extent of industrialization in the country and to the 
numbers of the Black population. 

This gives an idea of the potential strength of the 
political strike in the South African situation. This form 
of political action is accessible to almost the whole of 
the Black population. Its importance cannot be 

South Africa combines important characteristics of 
both the western industrialized countries and the 
underdeveloped Third World countries. Like the first, it 
is relatively highly industrialized: this makes feasible the 
industrial form of strike action. But it shares with the 
Third World countries the character of being an 
underdeveloped country subject to a kind of colonial 
domination, which makes the struggle for self deter- 
mination a historial imperative. The movement towards 
liberation gathers its momentum from these combined 
urges: to eliminate capitalist exploitation and to achieve 
self-determination. Because the South African white 
state is recognized relatively easily to be the instrument 
of capitalist exploitation, the Black workers realize that 
the real and effective counter to such exploitation is not 
along the lines of pure trade-unionism, but towards the 

seizure of power. It is this combination of factors which 
explain why the Black workers in South Africa have 
been able to impart a political and revolutionary 
character to their strike action well ahead of any work- 
ing class movement in the industrialized countries of the 


I'd like to mention just one other falsehood that has 
been spread concerning the liberation movement in 
South Africa. When the uprisings first erupted in 
Soweto on June 16, the white supremacists raised a hue 
and cry, trumpeting that what they called riots and 
disturbances were instigated by "irresponsible" 
elements who were coercing the population by means of 
"terror." As events developed, these happenings were 
described as being the result of machinations by groups 
and individuals operating from outside the country. In 
truth, of course, these events were the revolutionary ex- 
pression of the masses in South Africa. 

The movement which ushered in these developments 
is the Black Consciousness Movement. This Movement 
is not a single party; it consists of a network of people's 
local, regional, and nation-wide organizations which 
operate among the people within South Africa, not 
from the outside. It is truly a united front of people's 
organizations. Among the largest within this network 
are the Black People's Convention, the South African 
Students Organization, the Black Allied Workers' 
Union, and the Union of Black Women's Federation. 
The claim that the uprising was being master-minded or 
directed by groups outside the country is utterly false. 
And it is in fact resented by the people in South Africa. 
Rightly so, because this lie is also a slur upon their in- 
telligence and self-respect. It takes the inveterate con- 
temptuousness of the South African white racists to 
fabricate such a lie about the masses of South Africa. 

Let me leave you with this simple message: 

The Black Consciousness Movement opens up an en- 
tirely new chapter in the history of South Africa. The 
movement of liberation belongs now, in the first in- 
stance, to all the oppressed people of South Africa; and 
uhimately to history, that is, to the whole of mankind. 
We of South Africa are re-entering our history and the 
history of mankind from which we have been excluded 
for so long by the combined forces of international 
capitalism, imperialism, and South African white 
domination. Your solidarity will assist us in clearing the 
great leap. 



I .,;i lilt* 



The roof sags and creaks at the wind's gentle breeze; 

Bemudes wasps vie for entry into the mud mound on the ceiling. 

The clogged sewers stench beckons rats to a banquet; 

The fungus hangs on grandpa's neck like lillies. 

The flea-coated mongrel in the manger growls and strums her concertina 


The litter sticks like ticks on it's ghostly chassis. 

And mama heaves and sighs 

And delivers Charles. 

Bheki Langa 



i'd promised to write 

no more 'tortured' verse, again 

i'd walk the beaten track 

display servile manners to superiors 

and earn myself an A on the attitude scale. 

i'd wipe off history; obtain citizenship 

and call veterans of the Anglo-Boer war, 

comrades . . . 

leaning on an iron fence, across Canadian Life Insurance, 

a week to date, 

Kaisey lectured me on human harmony; insisted 

i pocket four tokens, i took them, 

for luxury. 

I've wiped all that now. 

before these cemetery-like flowers on University Avenue 

I need no lectures on responsibility. 

I'm hungry, kaisey and want cash, today. 

the Postman 's delay will evict me from the Y. 

Lady Day who knew hunger, sometimes for days, once snapped; 

you can 't begin to talk of love 

with an empty stomach and no clothes on your back. 

Jutting from the blossom, the angel-topped cenotaph recalls; 

Driefontein, Johannesburg, Diamond Hills, Natal . . . 

These names chiselled on the monument of hunger, 

have tossed me on these gold glittering pavements. 

Bheki Langa 

Canada 1973 September 

saj£^<;cet^*7 M-sTB/e^^-T7. 


New Africa House 

Room 115 

Amherst, Massachusetts 

To: Randolph Bromery, Chancellor 

Robert Wood, President 

Governor Michael Dukakis 
From: South African Support Committee 

Re: Investments by the University of Massachusetts 

Dear Sirs: 

The University of Massachusetts owns stocks and bonds in a number of corporations with major in- 
vestments in South Africa. These corporations are: General Motors, fohnson and Johnson, General Electric, 
Motorola, Nabisco, Lilly Pli, Pfizer, Smithkline, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, FMC, Newmont 
Mining, Honeywell, IBM, Exxon, Eastman Kodak, and Goodyear. The University is also considering pur- 
chases of Ingersoll Rand and Caterpillar Tractor. The University has spent a total of $540,558.43 on these in- 
vestments. We arrived at these figures by comparing the account of the University endowment fund of 
February 18, 1977 with the latest report of the American Consulate General in Johannesburg, Republic of 
South Africa (Commercial Section). 

The South African holdings of these corporations provide material support and legitimacy to a white 
supremacist regime. The facts of life for black South Africans — such as 53% of all black children dying by the 
age of five— cannot be altered by these corporations. To the contrary, they are bound by the laws of the land 
and can only strengthen the apartheid system. In fact, the legalized exploitation of black labor helps these cor- 
porations make a 17-19% return as opposed to a world average of 11%. Their material interests makes them 
resist any real reforms. 

We must do more than simply hope for change. Points 3 and 4 of the University's "Guidelines for the In- 
vestment of the Endowment Fund" state that: "The University will endeavor to take informed and ethical 
positions whenever it exercises its voting rights as a stockholder and may communicate directly with manage- 
ment when there is evidence that the corporation is not acting responsibly in the public interest. " and "When 
there is evidence that a corporation in which the University owns stock is persistently engaging in activities 
that are grossly contrary to these guidelines, the Treasurer, after consultation with investment counsel, will 
recommend the sale of that stock. " Point 2 states "The University will seek to invest in corporations that have 
a responsible posture in matters relating to . . . public health . . .[and] equal employment opportunities . . ." 
The University's own criteria make these investments unacceptable from a moral and legal point of view. 

We therefore request that the University immediately sell its holdings in the above corporations and 
publicize its reasons for doing so. 


University of Massachusetts 

South Africa Support Committee 

copies to: 
Boston Globe 
Springfield Union 
Northampton Gazette 
Holyoke Transcript 
N.Y. Times 
Valley Advocate 
Boston Phoenix 
New Unity 



(For Keorapretse William Kgotsitsile, 
Afrikan scholar & Guerilla I poet) 

Drums of our fathers, 

hear us. Souls of our mothers, 

bear witness . . . 

When the Whirlwind sweeps 

south of Zambezi, we 

hope your eyes witness 

the open graves of four 

million monsters. (Guerilla 

warrior completing Shaka 's task. 

In Soweto, the children's 

graves will blossom amid 

the dust from troop carriers 

and the earth they blessed 

will sing lull a byes 

to glorious dawn. 

Willie the years 

stretch like a string of 

mine fields across the leprous 

terrain of Caucasian madness. 

Our lives are a thousand 

rebellions, uprisings- 
massive cries into the 
Whirlwind of World Spirit. 
Guerilla souls we are! 
building bridges of revolt 
from Harlem, Watts, Newark, 
Detroit — a Black Bandoleer 
stretching from New Afrika 

to Manibia, Zimbabwe, Angola 
and points South. (Comrade 
when you march, 30 million 
tramp in your footsteps: 

Malcolm, Martin, Lumumba, 
Cabral are loose again 
in the Afrikan Whirlwind, 

keep a steady 
trigger-finger; don 't 
stop shooting 

'till the Cape is stained 

a brilliant red, 'til 

Zulu drums thunder from 

south Atlantic to the 

Indian Ocean, and 

Azania blooms like 

a red hibiscus in 
the radient dawn I 

Aikia Muhammad Toure (copyright Oct. 1976) 



love poem no. 8 

who are we to say 
that we are lovers 
in these days of unhappiness 

neutral shifts upon the wind i 
have forgotten their order 
standing here at this point 
somewhere between then and now 

it is dark here sometimes 
yet even when the sun empties 
who am i to ask 
and who are we to assemble 
these broken seedlings 
that we have gleaned after the harvest 
(always after the harvest) 
it is not easy for me 
to speak of love 
but this one time 
when i am tired 
i will say with meaning 
i love you 

and picture your face 
in shadow. 

John Williams 

Black Cypress 

Absorb yourself 

and be nourished by the beauty of blackness 

and be nourished by the richness from our home land 

from which we once came. 

As black women 

we are faced with many challenges that days bring forth 

build it 

make it strong 

mold it into a figure shaped you 

and you are one to set an example for all 

and your men 

feed them yourself 


don V test them 


don 't mislead 

Black women (todays tomorrow) 

WE ARE LIKE THE BLACK PEARLS IN THE SEA!!! rarest among jewels 

SO SSSSSSsshine radiantly 

Pam Benn 


love poem no. 9 
October 26, 1973 

and today as i stand at the entrance 

to november 

making futile preparations 

for the cold 

my hands thrown away to the ends of the earth 

on this day this holy day this Sunday 

of racing winds and inaudible prayers 

that find no difference between themselves 

on this day 

this day of many clouds and little warmth 

on this day 

my love is a tattered veil of arabesque 

etched across into the hills laughing 

into the wind 
as it stretches and runs from me 

to you 

badly in need of repair, 

for no other reason than it is the nature of a veil 
to unravel, to be re- spun, and to unravel again, 
i ask you to run to the mountains 
to see my love painted there 
a reflection of the sun growing older 
slowly peeling off into the face of the earth 
falling from the trees 
the fastidious scrape me away 
to be burned and my ashes scattered 
into the dust 

by which time if you will have not yet gone 
up into the mountains 
in search of me and my love 
it will not matter then 
for by then my love and i 
will have turned inward 
and have become 
the mountain itself 

John williams 


The South African's Vow 

I saw a free spirit out-distance the wind 

on its journey home. 

I saw him turn and laugh as she (the wind) 

waved at his triumph. 

I saw years of life comfortably lulled to 

rest by happiness and fulfillment . 

I saw the sun hunger after the Brightness 

of the smiles of a nation combined. 

Then I awoke, Dream gone. 

I saw the storm's hand gently wash and 

cleanse a quiet free land. 

I saw love sit heavily about this land 

and warm all in it's peaceful embrace. 

I saw nature call to her proud children 

and they answered like the rushings of a tide. 

I saw one content face in this tide and 

knew it to be a family picture. 

Then I awoke, Dream gone. 

I saw the back of a nation come alive 

as the opressor's whip was cut short 

by emotions that would be bruised no more. 

I saw the life that grew out of this turning 

point, flower and bring all of nature's beauty 

with it. 

I saw a people sweating out thrust and drive 

as their labor built a nation. 

I saw laughter and mirth run rampant 

through bountiful ranks of strong young 


Then I awoke, Dream gone. 

And through my hazy, sleep filled eyes, 

I saw a living nightmare where my dream 

should have been. 

I leaped from my state of somnambulant 

acceptance and grabbed my gun. 

I'll have my dream. 

I now marched through the corridors of 

resistance and oppression. 

The waiting claws of the resister, 

the oppressor clamber for my soul. 

I am determined that he shall not have 


Not when I have seen the free spirit in 


Not when I have felt the love of 

freedom.'s kiss upon my heart. 

Not when one free-smile is worth a 

thotisand in bondage. 

Not when I have been a king under the 

reign of justice. 

No. He shall not have my soul. 

Bui I shall have his if he seeks to 

restrict my freedom once again. 

"This I Vow. " 

Sandy Mclean 



Listen, do you hear it 's cry? 

Do you hear the cry of the blood line? 

It is a cry that transcends all distance and time. 

It is a cry that grabs you and holds 

you for its full duration, its full 


It sails the impassionate seas to find its 

way to a strangely familiar shore, (familiar thru 

vicarious experience) 
Now that it is here, it follows its natural 
attraction to the Blood line. 
A line that runs thru resistance and apathy to the real 

called us. We are the line's end. 
The red current flows to us and from us. 
Once awakened, our ears tune to the sorrowful 
howl it carries. 

In the howl we see grey cold things which resemble 

They drop from the heavens to conquer all within 
their reach in the name of the oppressor. 
They lock the free spirit to a block 
called Apartheid. 

Yet the picture slowly — quickly changes. 
It turns in on itself and explodes into violent rebellion. 
Brother who was suffering under their weight (those 

heavycold chains) 
now seek to breath freely. 
The Blood line cries out for support, this then is the 

cry we heard. 
Brother is dying in the struggle. 
Sister is crying in the struggle. 
All are suffering in the struggle. 
The Blood line comes alive and cries for strength that 

from here and goes all the way over to there. 
To their hearts. Blood holds. 
To their minds. Blood holds. 
To their souls. Blood holds. 

Dying blood, anguished blood, despairing blood 
pouring blood. Right-on blood, fighting blood. 
Our blood. Holds. 
Yes blood. 

We are with you blood. 
For now blood, 
and tomorrow blood. 
With you all the way. 

Sandy Mclean 



To my mother 

through whom God chose, 

To bring me birth, 

To my mother, 

a humble 

peaceful, submissive, 

servant of God, 

who nursed 

me, gave me warmth 

and tender care, 

who taught me 

the difference 

right from wrong 

guides me along, 
the correct path, 
who is my 
heart, life and soul, 
for whom i pray 
daily that she may 
one day see the 
abode of peace 
who is a righteous 
woman who has suffered 
many hardships, 
pains and sorrows, 
but who has remained 
steadfast to the truth 
in times of trials 
and tribulations, 
who in this very 
hour is a prisoner, 
captive in an unrighteous, 
nation that breeds, 
unrighteous people. 
May Allah, God, bless, 
guide and protect 

To my mother, 
i just want to say, 
there are no 
words to express, 
the appreciation, 
love and respect 
i have for you 
being the mother 
you have been, 
and are now 
and i give all 
praise and thanks to 

almighty God, Allah 
for having 
blessed me with 
having such 
a spiritual 
righteous mother 
May we understand 
Allah's, God's 
divine plan 
one day, 
and if we 
don 't see 
one another 
again in this 

May we 

in paradise 

A.H. 1391 



Mom, at school the writing on the wall 
It puts me down, they say I'm not a man 

21 I am I'm now a man, mom can't they see 
Why do they say black men never grow up 

since the day of my birth, I've grew in mind 

I grew in strength and wisdom, I'm more than a man 

those who oppose me I forgive them 
For they do not know any better 

Only a fool would go against God in the flesh 
I've sacrificed my live for those to live. 

I respect myself, I love it, its so good 

I'm love, I'm black, I carry the wisdom of a king. 

Tell me, tell my mom tell the fools 

Tell them that if anyone is a man that it be me. 

Keith Peters 


Is there a woman with love more dear 

To keep her man alive, she instilled in him fear? 

Emasculating Black manhood and all manhood means. 

Banking Blackfires with caresses and dreams. 

Many are the lonely nights her heart wailed 

For the son I husband in the white man's jail. 

The salty tears Black eyes have shed. 

Unwanted whiteman who favored Blackbeds. 

But for a sigh and a prayer, now and then. 

Who knows that hell a Black woman lives in? 

All in all, that day is through. 

Today, a Black sun shines on you. 

Yet, there is still that fear in your eyes. 

And still, you endure so Black man survives. 


People of Power 

We are the dancers and the singers; we are the music makers and 
the poets; we are the star gazers and the spirituaUst; we are 
the amazons and the Spartans; we are the metaphysicians and we are 
the muse. 

We are the laborers and the servants; we are the mangers and me- 
chanics; we are the extensions of your machines; we are the 
makers of your dreams; we are the exploited; we are the armies 
waiting for employ. 

We are the dangerous and the violent; we are the corrupted cre- 
ations of this time; we are seekers; we are sought; we are the 
wretched masses feeding on your shores; we are the damned mult- 
itude of poor; we are what you fear. 

We are the unassimulated natives; we are the unpacified captives; 
we are the silent vigilants who perserve; we are the tortured 
and tormented, the occupied oppressed; we are the incarnation of 
your nightmares. 

We are the people of the covenant; we are the people who will crown 
your wealth with steel and gather together your technology devel- 
oped at your expense to joyously celebrate our victory as we 
hammer your bones on a cross of dollars * symbolizing salvation. 
We are the people 
And we promise 

Jamila Semueya Grastou 

'from Pablo Neruda, revolutionary Chilean poet 

John Kendrick 


J I. y - 

John Kendrick 




(For Dennis Brutus) 

(According to a report in The Times, 17.8.1973, at the South African Prime Minister's annual get-together with the 
world's press, in Pretoria, more than twenty journalists were given an informal plates-on-the-knees dinner of ostrich 
egg omelette, roasted impala and eland cottage pie, devised by the Prime Minister's wife. The Prime Minister had shot 
the game himself, he said, and during the meal, he talked about his love of hunting, but only of species in plentiful 

This circumspect hunter, 

kitted out to kill, 

certainly can't be challenged 

by any still-centred 

wild life preservationist. 

Legal accusation? Murder? 
What's that for Smuts' sake? 

Our hunter's hands are clean, 

his heart as lean as linen, 

they'll definitely say 

and mean every word of it. 

There's more about him, too, 

than the mere established 

black and white crazy -paving 

in his perfect public parks 

and in his vast country garden. 

His thinking is as direct as bullets; 

his preference is to meet, head on, 

whatever comes at him: meandering, 

dangerotis, philosophical animals, 

half-cocked, interrmtional sanctions, 

split-second, trip-wire boycott campaigns, 

looming investment nightmares, 

or plain shooting trouble 

preferably on the Zambesi 

rather than on the Limpopo. 

He's a southern hunter who knows 
his river banks, whatever one says. 

And one more thing: he eats well; 

he likes a strict, native diet. 

He shoots dead straight 

(and so do his obedient beaters) 

but only at those prescribed targets 

moving in the greatest possible numbers: 

a warning too late for several millions 

swelling, year by year, to several more, 

a river of man, which, will, one night 

(knowing how long-imprisoned rivers are), 

flood the southern hunter's private garden 

his great acreage of deadly -accurate guns. 

Andrew Salkey 






Reprint from House of Bondage, 
Random House, Inc., 1967 

Reprint from House of Bondage, 
Random House, Inc., 1967 








One- Way Traders 

(For Mazisi Kunene) 


120,000 BLACKS 
More than 120,000 members of the Swana race will 
have to be moved from their present lands, South 
Africa's Minister of Bantu Administration and 
Development, Mr. M.C. Botha said today. He was an- 
nouncing final land consolidation proposals for the 
Bophuthatswana homeland in the Northern 
Transvaal, Cape Province. 

The Guardian Correspondent, Johannesburg 
(26.5.1973) (25.5.1973) 

Thinking that you're actually moving 
the spirit of a people, 
faith, hope and dream, 
because the bodies shift 
easily by decree, 
is a dangerous illusion; 
it fools the eye; 

balances the accounts on paper, somehow; 
but it does something violent 
to the morbid mind. 

The trees and homestead markings 

rush past, flapping in the wind, 

loose and serrated, 

like torn bandages 

blurred, at first, 

but soon afterwards 

like return signposts. 

Those who persist 

in working 

in the moving business, 

against the wishes 

of their rooted customers, 

are fascist handlers: 

one-way traders 

driving over shifting sand 

to a desolating bend 

farther down the road. 

Andrew Salkey 


arganta Vargas 


Dangerous Singer 

(in memory of Vuyisile Mini) 

(Vuyisile Mini, popular singer 
and songwriter, was executed 
by the South African government, 
in 1964.] 

The uncertain, collapsing family house 

was never the same, again, 

after those songs blew over the stunted grass; 

the walls pinched the cracks shut; 

the doors swung free, wide open 

to the inciting wind curving off the cockpit hill; 

and your words were good, always real, 

repeated over the years, going deeper down 

into the ground where dangerous songs live like roots. 

Andrew Salkey 
Photo by Juan Durruthy 






Behind the headlines 

in South Africa 

Prosperity for South African whites has been achiev- 
ed through the systematic denial of political rights and 
the economic exploitation of its black majority. Whites, 
who comprise only 17% of the population, take home 
over 76% of the wealth. Why does such a large disparity 

1. Whites may apply for any job; blacks are 
restricted to certain jobs no matter what their 

2. Whites organize trade unions and may strike for 
higher pay; blacks go to jail for striking while their 
trade unions receive no legal recognition. 

3 South Africa has been divided into white and 
black land areas — one-seventh of the land for the 
19 million blacks and six-sevenths for the 4 million 
whites. Every major city and town in the country 
is reserved for white ownership and control. 

4. The state spends approximately $340 a year for 
educating each white child, only $30 for a black 
child; education is free only for whites. 


The apartheid political system decrees that blacks 
have no rights except in the reservation set aside for 
them by the white government. These areas, known as 
"Bantustans," comprise but 13% of the land. Africans 
are defined as "temporary sojourners," in the "white" 
urban areas. Thus, by definition, they are deprived of 
all political and economic rights in 87% of their coun- 

The effects of domination and exploitation are clear: 

1 . Whites per capita income is about fourteen times 
that of the African — $133 a month for every white 
man, woman and child, $9.50 a month for every 

2. Over 80% of all Africans live below the poverty 

3. One-half of the children born in the Bantustans 
die before reaching the age of five. The death rate 
is 25 times that of white children; tuberculosis, a 
frequent aftermath of malnutrition, is 10 times as 
common among Africans as whites. 

4. Whites have one doctor for every 455 people, one 
of the highest doctor-patient ratios is one to 

5. 93% of whites of high school age go to school; for 
blacks, the figure is 8.9%. 

South Africa is a police state denying basic human 
rights and freedoms to most of its people. African men . 
and women must carry passes; they may live or work 
only where the stamp in their passbook — put there by a 
white official — decrees. In fact, one half million people 
are arrested and jailed each year for infringement of the 
pass regulations. There are about one million migratory 
laborers in South Africa, men who are forced to leave 
their families behind in the Bantustans to live in prison- 
Hke, single-sex compounds, often 16 to a room. Whites 
vote and make laws in Parliament; blacks cannot. 

Those accused of participating in "illegal political ac- 
tivities" are detained without trial and, often, tortured. 

This is a brutal picture, but true. It is also true that 
the United States helps to maintain this system of apar- 
theid. United States corporate investment in South 
Africa has grown dramatically from $286 million in 
1960 to over $1 .5 biUion today. US investment and trade 
has played a critical role in developing manufacturing in 
South Africa. US involvement provides not only much 
of the capital for development of key industries, but 
also the licenses, technology and personnel, which, in 
many cases, are even more important than the capital 
itself. With the approval of the US government, 
weapons-grade uranium, aircraft and electronics 
technology have gone to South Africa to assist the 
military build-up against the majority of its people. 

Some argue that economic growth and industrializa- 
tion will automatically bring in their wake an improved 
life for black people. But time has made a mockery of 
this belief. After years of industrialization, Soweto and 
the other black townships near major industrial areas 
remain desperately poor shanty-towns. In fact, the gap 
between white and black is growing. 


a poem in late hours 

i say now: 

in this storm of conception, 

it is difficult to gather words of 

muhiple meanings 

and spread them with clarity . . . 

coherent bursts of profundity — so unprofound 
laden in disparity. 

i say: 
it is difficult 

in these evenings of awkward smiles 
nnd genteel leanings 
when voices accord the wind 
beret the motion of your eyes 
amidst the strands of concurrent beginnings, 
your laughter 'rosed' in storm hollows 
must yearn caravans of mornings 
i say: 

i am not the wind, my love 
i cannot sweep 
the broken tears as if no one 
longed their magic, 
i am not the 

caretaker of yesterday warnings 
of you and i — 
embodied in postures . . . 
of not knowing what to be. 
aye, my love, i, indeed, 
eye have cried 

and seemingly i — again — embrace these 
second thoughts, 
i have cried . . . and again 
i am alone 

thomas waltet jones 



She must be so beautiful now 

ripe like blueberries, 

her eyes a blossom of jewels 

her teeth a harvest of choice ivory . . 

Yet, at dawn, 

haven't I seen too many blueberries 

promising a joyous bounty 


languid on 125th and Lenox 

picked by the icy wind 

Long before midday? 

Bheki Langa 

Copyright 1975 



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Dick Gregory, his wife, and Senator Bill Owens, out- 
side the South African embassy in Washington, D.C., 
are arrested for protesting U.S. involvement in South 

Photos by Edward Cohen 



Beneath the social mushroom of Apartheid, 
the Nationalist regime in South Africa has 
erected, and is consolidating, an economic 
pyramid. At the peak of this structure are 
Whites. Coloureds and Asians constitute the 
body. Blacks — who are the majority — form 
the base. This state of affairs is nothing short 
of compounding an already caluminous situa- 
tion. Moreover, it is a foolhardy militation 
against any effort to protect and work toward 
a socially and economically integrated South 
African nation, a nation that will establish a 
common citizenship and merit the loyalty of 
every race. The following is a sampling of the 
Apartheid recipe as it exists today. 

Marriage between whites and non-whites is 
illegal under the Prohibition of Mixed Mar- 
riages Act of 1949. Marriage officers enforce 
this law, and where persons domiciled in South 
Africa contract such marriages outside the 
country, the act dictates that they be voided 
within South Africa. 

The Native Laws Amendment Act, enacted 
the same year, focuses on restricting the flow 
of African workers into the cities. This act 
serves two exploitative purposes: the insurance 
of an abundant pool of cheap laborers to work 
in the mines, and the deterant to the establish- 
ment of a large native population in urban 
areas. The latter ramification makes it im- 
possible to organize functional socio-political 
black units, and increases the number of black 
families that must separate. Special labor 
bureaus enforce this law. 

As a result of the Population Registration 
Act of 1950, South Africans are required to 
carry identification cards, on which is indelibly 
inscribed the race and status of each person. 
The provisions made in this act also establish- 
ed a racial register; the population was 

classified under three groups — Europeans, 
Coloureds, and Africans. Of these groups, the 
Coloureds and Africans were also registered 
according to their ethnological sections. This 
elaborate documentation process boosts the 
separatist policies, and effectively hinders any 
inter-racial alhances. 

Perhaps the most glaring exhibition of the 
monstrosity of the Apartheid system is the Im- 
morality Amendment Act. Enacted in 1950, 
this act prohibited carnal intercourse between 
whites and non- whites. (The original 1927 Act 
forbade intercourse between whites and 
Africans). Thousands of people, ranging from 
visiting seamen and clergy to a Prime Minister, 
have been punished under this law. Over 
6,000people were convicted under this Act bet- 
ween 1950 and June 1966. 

The ownership and occupation of land is 
governed by the Group Areas Act. The land 
and its uses are rationed along ethnic lines, 
thereby creating racial ghettoes. 

The Native Laws Amendment Act of 1952 
controls the movement to and from and the 
grouping of Africans in urban areas. Under 
this Act, the Africans are not permitted to re- 
main in an urban area over seventy-two hours 
without a permit — unless it is their birthplace 
and permanent residence. This law helps to 
prevent the formation of a potentially 
dangerous black proletariat. 

The founders of apartheid might have 
postulated separate but equal development, 
however the Reservation of Separate Amen- 
titiesAct of 1953 permits separate and unequal 
facilities to exist. Persons in charge of any 
public premises or public vehicle may reserve 
such premises or vehicle for the exclusive use 
of any race or class. The facilities afforded 
non-whites were substantially inferior to those 


available to whites; consequently the doctrine 
of separate but unequal was enshrined in 
South African law. 

Strikes by African workers are outlawed by 
the Native Labor (Settlementof Disputes) Act 
of 1953. Industrial disputes involving Africans 
were to be settled through a complicated 
machinery, but this only compounded the 

In the urban areas, the number of Africans 
residing in one building is also a matter of 
regulation. The Native Amendment Act pro- 
hibits landlords from allowing more than five 
Africans to inhabit one building at any one 
time — unless special permission had been 
granted by the Minister of Native Affairs. 

The Criminal Procedures Act, enacted in 
1955, empowers the police to kill 
suspects fleeing or persons resisting arrest. 

In compliance with the Industrial Concilia- 
tion Act of 1956, entry into trade unions and 
job placement are based upon race. This 
schematic ruling deprives blacks, who are 
component units in the country, of a possible 
platform for racial cooperation. 

The Natives (Prohibition of Interdicts) Act 
stated that any African in receipt of a 
removal or banishment order — rightly or 
wrongly — cannot request a stay of suspen- 
sion for its execution. This law dictates that 
no court issue interdict to such orders, no 
matter how arbitrarily those orders were 
issued. The African is obligated to move first 
and argue later — even at the risk of ir- 
reparable personal and familial damage. 

The dragnet against intimate relations bet- 
ween the races is expanded and reinforced 
by the Immorality Act of 1957. The penalty 
for carnal intercourse between whites and 
non-whites was increased to seven years im- 
prisonment, while solicitation with intent to 
commit an indecent or immoral act was 
declared a criminal act. 

Between 1961 and 1962 the pain- 
ting of political slogans had flourished, and a 

passed to prohibit this activity. The General 
Law Act of 1962, one of a series of such acts, 
made the slogan painting an offence that was 
punishable with a maximum of six months in 
prison and/or any other penalty that might be 
imposed under the law. 

The General Laws (1963) also provides for 
the detention of persons without trial. A 
similar Act (1964), among other things, allows 
the government to jail anyone who refuses to 
give evidence during criminal proceedings. The 
jail term is a minimum of twelve months. In 
addition to this, the Act authorizes the use of 
force to make alleged accomplices testify- even 
at the risk of incriminating themselves. 

Freedom of speech and writing by exiled 
South Africans is prohibited by the Suppres- 
sion of Communism Amendment Act (1965). 
This Act empowers the state to ban publica- 
tion and distribution of hterary works deemed 
a continuation of a work by the exiled person. 

The Police Amendment Act of 1965 allows 
the pohce, at any place within a mile of the 
South African border, to search any person, 
vehicle, or premises without a warrant. The 
Minister of Justice declared these powers 
necessary to combat infiltration. 

Inter-racial marriages contracted outside 
South Africa are voided in the African coun- 
try. Under the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages 
Amendment Act (1968), such marriages are il- 
legal and cannot be consumated in South 

Multi-racial poUtical activities are also il- 
legal according to the Prohibition of Political 
Interference Act. 

One may want to know how the South 
African society is faring in the face of such 
regulations. Statistics may not be conclusive as 
proof of consequence, but the following serve 
at least as primers on the South African social 

In 1912, one out of every twenty-two per- 
sons was brought before the courts. By 1960, 
the figure was one in eight — and even more 
startling is that one in every eight of the 


African population alone was convicted. On The suicide rate, another social phenomena, 

November 22, 1967, the United Nations reached 651 in 1962; 536 whites, 71 coloureds, 

pubHshed a report stating that 1,066 people and 44 Asians. Figures on the Africans are 

had been executed throughout the world in the unavailable. Still the crime rate grows, 

years between 1961 and 1965. Nearly half of And what about 1978 or the year 2000? 

this total had been hanged in South Africa. In what will the future hold for the people of 

1920, one South African in 10,000 lost his Ufe South Africa? 
through violence. In 1964 and 1965, the figure 
was five times as high. 


When search was all, 

She searched and found 

A man, who was but 

Less than she 

They ran, like fluff balls 

Through the town 

and worshipped him 

On bended knee. 

The child she brought 

And one he gave, sat 

Entwined in company; 

This child came in, so 

Fair of face with eyes 

That gazed upon the heart 

So those around 

With special sense 

Made mention 

He was more than smart. 

With wayward mind 

And unset time, the man 

Turned tail to other things 

but she sat hard on winded sea 

And rode on balded eagle wings. 

Some wonder now, the way they went 

Or see them now and then again 

(I've seen her sit on window's ledge 

and hold her two quite close at hand) 

(Then too, I've seen a better day, where laurel 

spawn and 

green fields roam) 

(She dreams and searches not of him but of a 



barbara j. black 


^r( Uatei 

Mothering Midnight Stars 



"" down 

And open our minds 

Lets the cries from your planets 

Encompass our true growth 

Quickening the spirits 

That dwell within 

Giving dreams direction. 

Pamela Benn 



By Miss Belinda Martin aged 22. 

I am a resident at 129 Cumberland Avenue, Nancefield, 

I am employed as a computer programmer by Generex 
Computer Bureau, Fedmis Buildings, Marshall Street, 

I was detained by plain-clothes Security Police at my 
place of employment at 8:30 a.m. on July 17. 
I was handcuffed and taken by car to John Vorster 
Square, to the 9th floor. 

There were eight White Security Police present and one 
Coloured Lieutenant Sons, the policeman who arrested 

I was threatened with violence if I didn't answer their 
questions. I was told that if I didn't answer questions 
put to me I would not be released. 
I was then taken to the 10th floor where a number of 
photographs were taken of me. 

The police then handed me over to two White police 
women. They were middle-aged (more than 32), one was 
uniformed the other not. 

The policemen told the two women to rough me up to 
give me a taste of the treatment I was to get from them. 
I was left alone with the two women. They stripped all 
my clothes off me. I was handcuffed by my hands and 
feet. Then they beat me. They hit me with their hands 
and fists. I fell over and sprawled on the floor. The 
policemen stood outside the door during this beating. 
The police had told me earlier they could beat me as 
much as they wanted to because I would have no proof 
against them. 

They then took the handcuffs off, and they allowed me 
to dress. I was then handcuffed again, hands and feet. 
I was put at a chair in front of a desk. It was a front 
room of the building. They closed the blinds and stack- 
ed chairs against the door. 

Now there were the eight White policemen and Lieut. 
Sons. They all crowded around me, and all spoke and 
shouted at once. 

I remember them asking which organization did I 
belong to. Had I formed my own revolutionary group? 
I just sat and looked at them. 

They pulled my hair, whole handfuls, and they used ter- 
rible language. 

They said they would not let me leave the room. I would 
have to wet the floor if necessary. 

This went on till about 4:30 p.m. I didn't answer any 
questions. They then unhandcuffed me, and left me 

with a uniformed male and female policeman and the 
woman who booked me in. 
They took me to a cell on the first floor. 
The cell was stinking and filthy. The toilet was full and 
couldn't be flushed. 

Before reaching the cell, we passed through two steel 

I was given two blankes, if you can call them blankets, 
they were more like rags. And I was told to sleep on the 
cement floor. There was no mat. There was nothing in 
the cell besides the toilet. 

I was not given anything to eat or drink, nor was I 
allowed other clothes. I was to stay in the same clothes I 
was arrested in for the next 2-3 weeks. 
Also I was not given any food or water for the next two 
weeks, and only survived by drinking water from the 
toilet pan in my cell from the fourth day after my ar- 
rest — on Monday July 21. 

The next day, Friday (July 18) I was fetched from my 
cell at about 8:30 and taken to the 9th floor of the 
building again. This time there were more security 
police than the day before. They were all in plain 
clothes, and included my main interrogator a Lieut. 
Cornelius, a White policeman. 

I was again handcuffed hands and feet and sat in a chair 
in front of the same desk. 

I was asked many questions about my brother 
(Leonard) in exile n Botswana, and about his friends. 
During this questioning, Lieut. Sons hit me in the face 
twice with his open hand— he always gave the first shots. 
My nose started to bleed. Even today it still bleeds some 

I just sat there and said I could not answer their ques- 

They said that if I wanted to get out I should just agree 
with what they said. They questioned me about SASO, 
BPC, AFRO (South African Student Organisation, 
Black Peoples' Convention, Anti-Coloured Peoples 
Representative Council group) and about exiles, and if 
they were engaged in a revolutionary project. 
They accused me of having gone to Botswana for 
revolutionary military training — I had gone there three 
times to take money and clothes to my brother. 
I have never belonged to SASO, BPC or AFRO. 
I was questioned all day, and again given no food or 

Besides hitting me in the face, Lieut. Sons also kicked 
me in the stomach with his knee. I don't think the White 
security police would have assaulted me if Sons had not 


been there. 

They suggested at one stage that the women should beat 
me up. He said no. He said I was a revolutionary bitch 
and should be treated as such regardless of my sex. 

I was taken back to my cell, and that night I was given 

no food or water. I was deprived of food and water for 

14 days. The security policemen said that I should talk if 

I wanted a drop of water. 

That day, Friday, they had fixed the toilet, but I didn't 

drink out of it until the Monday. Also the cell light did 

not work, and I was left in the cell in the dark. 

I was left in the cell the whole of the next two days, 

Saturday and Sunday, without food and water. 

On Monday morning (July 21) I was fetched from my 


I asked to be allowed to wash and was told "you're not 

in a hotel, remember you are in prison." 

I was taken to the same interrogation room. This time 
there was only Lieut. Sons and Lieut. Cornelius present. 
I was again handcuffed hands and feet. 
They removed my shoes, and in my socks, I was made to 
stand on a block of hot ice (dry ice). They ice was stan- 
ding on a tray, and a row of iron spikes was put in front 
and behind the tray, so that if I fell or wanted to get off 
the spikes would stick into me. I must have stood for 
about 8 hours in this way, without moving. I can tell it 
was about this long, because I remember the two 
policemen preparing to stop work, as they did each day 
from about 3:30 p.m. 

Throughout that day they just carried on with office 
work at desks in the office. 

They told me that if I was prepared to tell them what 
they wanted to know, they would release me. 
I was completely dazed after a while. They may have 
removed the spikes. I complained of feeling dizzy and 
said I could not see. 

My feet swelled up and I felt a burning pain through my 
body. Then at some stage everything went black. I must 
have collapsed and lost consciousness. 
I woke up in my cell. I had a terrible migraine. 
My whole body was swollen, as if it was full of water. 
I was very thirsty and drank form the toilet in the cell 
for the first time. 

The following morning Tuesday (July 22) I was taken to 

the District Surgeon in town. I wasn't handcuffed, and 

was taken there by Lieut. Sons and a White policeman. 

I didn't answer to any of the doctor's questions. 

I had difficulty walking, and he must have seen the 

swelling on my body. 

He checked me over. He gave me tablets for a migraine, 

although I didn't complain of one. 

He was a very old doctor. He could hardly see. He had 

thick glasses. 

He asked if I had been assaulted. I didn't say I had 

been — it wouldn't have served any purpose. 

I didn't tell him anything. I saw no reason to complain. 

I was then taken back to my cell and left for the whole 


The next day, Wednesday (July 23) my nose started 
bleeding, and I started wretching and my bowels pro- 
duced blood. 

I didn't ask to see a doctor. 

I wretched all over the cell floor. Nobody cleaned up, 
and I used my pantyhose to clean up. 
I felt I was dying, as I had a burning inside me. 
The toilet was still filthy, and I used the same pantyhose 
to wash it out. 

I was then left alone altogether. I was not brought any 

food or water for two to three weeks. 

I was told that if I wanted to talk, I should just press the 

red button on the cell wall. I lost some sense of time, but 

could tell it was day by the light from the window high 

up on the wall of the cell. 

I was given no toilet paper or soap, and washed myself 

from the water in the toilet pan with my pantyhose. 

I was terribly cold, especially at night. 1 had a cough, 

and my throat used to burn. 

Then the Friday of the next week, I think, a magistrate 
came to see me. 

I couldn't tell him anything. I just couldn't com- 
municate with him — I saw no purpose being served. 
He asked me a number of questions. I didn't reply. 
He must have seen I wasn't washed, that my clothes 
were dirty and that the cell was filthy and smelled. 
After that weekend, on Monday morning I was taken 
for a shower on the first floor. I was given a piece of 
Lifebouy soap, but no towel. I was given toilet paper to 
dry myself with. After the shower I had to get back into 
the same filthy clothes. 

The next day, Tuesday (August 5) I was given clean 
clothes which my family had sent. 

That Monday (August 4) I was given food for the first 
time. I was brought a piece of fish with carrot or 
beetroot peels. There was no bread, but a cup of cold 

I ate only the fish. After eating it I had a terrible craving 
for more food. My head started swimming and I started 
shivering, going from hot to cold. 
That night they brought me a sort of stew, with pieces of 
fat in it. I ate one spoonfull and felt great relief, but 
decided not to eat the rest — I thought it might be drugg- 


The next day Tuesday (August 5) besides the clean 
clothes, I was brought some sandwiches which I decided 
not to eat because I thought they had been drugged. 
Then a White matron in the cell block started smuggling 
sandwiches which she had made to me. Also fruit juices 
and milo or cocoa. I don't think I would have survived 
without those. 

She could see what a state I was in and probably took pi- 
ty on me. 

From then on they brought food to me regularly. All I 
took was the water they brought. I wasn't interrogated 

Then in the 4th week of detention they brought me more 
clothes and a packet of biscuits, two packets of crisps, a 
bar of chocolate, a bar of soap and a packet of washing 
powder sent by my family. 

I was able to wash my clothes, and kept a spencer and 
slacks in back of the dirty clothes so as to keep one set 

The matron who brought me sandwiches told me she 
had been threatened and that she could be jailed if seen 
speaking to me. She had been asked if I was sending 
notes through her. 

On Wednesday (August 27) I was taken to the 9th floor 
to see my parents. I didn't want them to see me in such a 
terrible state. 
My feet were swollen. 

There were two security police present, including Lieut. 
Sons, and they had a tape recorder on. 
My mother started crying, and asking what had happen- 
ed to my feet. She could hardly speak. 
We chatted for a while and I was then taken back to my 
That day I was accused of sending letters out of my cell. 

The next day Thursday (Aug 28) at about 2:30 p.m. 

Lieut. Sons came to my cell and told me to get ready to 

go home. 

I was again taken to the 9th floor and told that my 

release was temporary. I was told that I would be put 

under house-arrest if I spoke to the Press or had any 

contact with people they still wanted to arrest. They 

didn't say who these people were. 

They gave me a typed slip saying I would have to appear 

as a State witness against Joseph Molekeng — whom I 

don't even know. 

In all the time I was detained I never made any 

statements to the police, and never signed anything. 

At one stage they asked me to copy from a book onto 

paper saying they had hand-writing expert. 

That day Lieut. Sons drove me home. The next day he 

returned and asked for my passpost, which my father 

gave him. 

I broke down for the first time when I got home. I just 

cried and cried. 

I cannot sleep at night. 

There are three other things I should mention. 

The night I woke up in my cell after being made to stand 

all day on hot ice, I found a burn mark on my neck. It 

was as though I had been burned with a cigarette. It was 

painful. I still have the mark. 

Also, one night, I don't remember which night, the 

security police came to my cell in the middle of the night 

with a doctor, who was dressed in black. 

They shone a bright torch in my face. They said they 

had arrested my brother and others. 

The doctor asked if I was unwell. I said I was well and 

feeling fine. I don't remember anything more. 

During my detention there were times when I found 
myself talking and laughing to myself. When this hap- 
pened I stopped myself and clenched my fists and tried 
to sleep. I found great difficulty in ever getting to sleep, 
and when I did, it was only half-sleep. 



Christopher Themptander LNS 



"Above all, it (revolution in Africa) is made up of or- 
dinary people. We are not born revolutionaries, just 
people who could no longer support a situation. You 
get caught up in a revolution and then you see it 

A Frelimo cadre talking to Barbara Cornwall, author 

of The Bush Rebels. 

In our open house 

in underdevelopment, 

first, saying no to oppression, 

then, getting caught up 

in the struggle for change, 

lasting out 

and seeing it through 

are really all the matter. 

In our broken house 

in underdevelopment, 

the trampled grass 

and the dynamited walls 

are the things 

that pitch our responses forward 

and make forests of our people. 

In our new house, 
because we've lasted out 
and seen the long night through, 
because we've humped our pain 
and sliced away our self contempt, 
the new land will bind our promises, 
sprout tall grass, again, 
rebuild our defoliated dreams, 
wait for our love, a second time, 
and guide our scientific hand. 

In our new open house, 

all our children will be equal 

and their parents will learn from them 

those things that will last 

and last 

and last. 

Andrew Salkey 


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W.E.B. Du Bois Department 


Afro-American Studies 

Area Code 413 

An Open Letter on South Africa 

To the Management of C.B.S. News: 

I am compelled to write this letter because of my deep 
concern with the way you have reported on recent events 
in southern Africa. In the past I have been an en- 
thusiastic fan of C.B.S. News. In fact, I have often 
defended the breadth and objectivity of your coverage 
against charges to the contrary from many of my col- 
leagues. However, your recent reportage on southern 
Africa has forced me to reconsider my previous judge- 
ment as to the honesty and neutrality of your presenta- 
tion of certain events. 

As one who has studied Africa's problems, offered 
university courses on Africa, and is presently engaged in 
research and writing on the subject, I find your (C.B.S. 
News) view of southern Africa astoundingn In my opi- 
nion, the images of southern Africa that emerges from 
both your reportage and commentary supplies an im- 
pressive, logical and persuasive argument in favor of 
white facist minority rule in southern Africa. This fact 
raises a fundamental question: How can C.B.S. take 
such a position when you, like the American govern- 
ment, profess to stand for democratic government (i.e. 
majority rule) and basic human freedom? In the final 
analysis the central question is: What does C.B.S. stand 

Since I am certain that you possess both a reasonable 
knowledge of and respect for the rules of inquiry, let us 
seek to answer the question by reviewing the record. 
Since I have neither the time nor space to review the 
total product of your reportage on southern Africa, I 
have selected a representative sample. To demonstrate 
my point I have selected several programs and analyzed 
their content and point of view. 

Having sufficiently stated our case in general terms let 
us get down to specifics. On Wednesday evening April 
28, 1976, Eric Severied presented a commentary which 
addressed the question of white rule in southern Africa. 
The tone and character of his remarks were in- 
distinguishable from the official propaganda of the il- 
legal white South African regimes. Mr. Severied took 
the position that in southern Africa "Whites have 
created everything that means anything in twentieth cen- 
tury terms". I would Hke to ask Mr. Severied: Does not 

"life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" mean 
anything in twentieth century terms.? 

Perhaps Mr. Severied considers these principles to be 
unfashionable eighteenth century anachronisms, or that 
they apply to whites only! In any case, even if Mr. 
Severied is intellectually perverse enough to believe the 
latter, it should be pointed out that there is precious lit- 
tle freedom for whites who oppose official policy in 
southern Africa. The experiences of anti-apartheid 
white South African intellectuals such as Dr. Beyers 
Naude and Ronald Segal among others are excellent 
cases in point. 

It is precisely because there is such an abundance of 
reliable information on South African society that 
C.B.S. motives are suspect. When viewed from this 
perspective it is clear that you hold a double standard on 
the question of human freedom; one for whites and one 
for non-whites. 

There is abundant evidence of this double standard at 
work in the remainder of Mr. Severied's commentary of 
April 28th. For example, he refers to the "barbaric 
treatment of Asians" in East Africa, and to tribalism 
"as a form of racism". He also spoke of tribal conflict 
as "wars of extermination". Notice the extravagant use 
of the negative adjective when he addresses what he 
perceives as African shortcomings. When viewed 
against the feeble or non-existent treatment given these 
same questions when blacks are the victims of whites; it 
does not require extraordinary intelligence to recognize 
a double standard. 

Here again Mr. Severied's commentary obscures 
more than it enlightens. Every reasonable observer of 
the East African scene recognizes the racist, oppressive, 
exploitative role traditionally played by East Indians. 
The East Indians came to Africa from a society with 
what is perhaps the world's oldest and most deeply en- 
trenched system of institutionalized inequality. (Though 
we readily admit that the present government is attemp- 
ting to change this). They entered Africa with a highly 
developed sense of social discrimination, and were given 
a privileged position within the British colonial system. 

There is a also a long tradition of racism that is in- 
digenous to Indian society. The age of this racist ethic is 



well documented in the great Hindu Epics. They tell of 
battles between the black Dravidians and white Aryans 
for the possession of India several thousand years ago. 
In all these accounts it is the white Aryans who are the 
aggressors. Since Mr. Severied is either unwilling or 
unable to do the necessary reading to comment in- 
telligently on these matters, he should seek alternative 
means of education. 

On Thursday morning April 29th the C.B.S. Morning 
News presented Dr. Milton Freedman in a commentary 
on southern Africa. Dr. Freedman had recently return- 
ed from a trip to the Republic of South Africa. His 
remarks on the South African situation sounded as 
though they were written by the South African Ministry 
of Information. He proceeded to argue that "most of 
the blacks are freer and wealthier than elsewhere in 
Africa". He goes on to point out "southern Africa with 
8% of the population (of Africa at large) produces 25% 
of the goods". He then uses these arguments to call for 
American support for the white South African facist. 
This commentary raises so many questions one hardly 
knows where to begin. 

The most pressing question raised by the Freedman 
commentary is why was he given the opportunity at all? 
To begin with, Mr. Freedman has no credentials on the 
subject, academic or otherwise. He is not noted as a stu- 
dent of African affairs, nor does he have extensive per- 
sonal experience there. And to this observer, his com- 
ments on C.B.S. does nothing to recommend him as a 
credible analyst of South African affairs. In fact, he 
remarks strongly suggest that he is either a dupe or a 
brazenly forward apologist for South African facism. 

However, it is not at all difficult to conceive of Mr. 
Freedman in the latter role: particularly when one con- 
siders his present relationshiop to the facist pinochet 
junta in Chile. As you probably know, Mr. Freedman is 
a Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. 
He is also the principal architect of the present 
economic policy of the Chilean junta. In the opinion of 
many economists this policy known as "shock 
treatment" is one of the most inhumane in the world. 
But one need not be an economist to recognize that 
anyone who could work so closely with an outright 
facist regime must be of like mind. Here we defer to the 
superior wisdom of the folk as expressed in the old ad- 
dage, "Birds of a feather flock together." 

As an intellectual and moral statement on South 
Africa, Mr. Freedman's commentary is at best a burles- 
que of analysis and a reflection of moral bankruptcy. 
To argue as he does that blacks in South Africa are 
"freer and wealthier" than anywhere else in Africa is 
prima facie absurd. This argument bears a strikingly 
close resemblance to the arguments of those who tell us 
that black U.S. slaves were better off than their poor 
white counterparts. The latter argument is presented in 
the multi-volume quantitative tome by Professors Fogel 
and Engerman, entitled "Time on the Cross". 

In reply I would argue two things: It is not possible to 
determine the quality of life from mainly quantative in- 

dices, and in both cases the statistical data was provided 
by the oppressors. In other words, to base such an 
assumption on records supplied by the South African 
government and the U.S. slaveholders is to disregard the 
most basic lessons of human history. In both instances 
Professors Fogel, Engerman, and Freedman base their 
judgements on the quality of black life on quantitative 
data expressed in statistical interpretations. The most 
important of which is per capita income. (With Freed- 
man, this is his only index). 

In regard to Mr. Freedman's statement that white 
dominated, southern Africa with only 8% of Africa's 
population produced 25% of the goods, we say, "So 
what"! What was he attempting to demonstrate by this 
proclamation? That the whites are therefore superior 
and ought to rule? If so, we say this is nothing more 
than the pious palaver of a diseased mind! There is no 
mystery in regard to the reasons for the productivity of 
the white dominated areas of southern Africa. Whites in 
South Africa are Europeans and have had all of the 
benefits of European capital, technology, and fraternal 

Europe was the incubator of the industrial revolution 
and as such leads the world along with her North 
American descendants — as the center of capital and 
technology; no one who is reasonably informed on 
world history denies this. However, I would remind 
you — as Arnold Toynbee and others have done — that 
the European domination of the world is only a few 
hundred years old; and is due almost entirely tothe 
white monopoly of capital and technology in the 
modern world. 

Hence, one does not need to resort to Hitlerian 
theories to explain the superior productive capacity of 
white dominated southern Africa. The more important 
question that begs an answer is: How much has this pro- 
ductive capacity benefited the African majority? The 
black South African as a people are in every important 
respect far worse off than they were before the coming 
of whites. In fact, one could argue that in many respects 
they are in worse condition than the U.S. blacks were as 
slaves. For example, the Land Acts of 1913 and 1936, 
allocates only 13% of the land to blacks while preserv- 
ing 87% for whites. Hundreds of thousands of black 
husbands and wives see neither each other or their 
children but two days a year. 

The balance of the year is spent toiling in the white- 
owned gold mines and lavish households. In both in- 
stances they are generally paid less than $500 a year. Is 
this the wealth and happiness of which Professor Freed- 
man speaks? What fairly sane person could seriously 
argue that this is not slavery? Black labor cannot 
organize, black womanhood is not respected, black 
children are exploited, and the black community is 
defenseless before the bar of justice] 

Being Jews, one therefore wonders how Professors 
Freedman, Fogel, and Engerman would react to the sug- 
gestion that perhaps Hitler was right with regard to - 
Jews. After all there is not a dimes worth of difference 


between Nazism and Afrikanerism. The only differnce 
is that Nazism was directed towards a white European 
minority and Afrikanerism is aimed at the black African 
majority! The best evidence of the similarity between 
these two ideologies is that most of the Afrikaner 
leadership actively supported the Nazis. This includes 
the present Prime Minister, John Vorster! 

Thus far we have confined our attention to C.B.S. 
commentary, now let us examine some examples of 
reportage. On the Morning News May 17th, C.B.S. did 
a report on Zimbabwe. (Whites refer to this country as 
Rhodesia). This report dealt with the white farmer in 
Zimbabwe. It featured the Deal family and their 
neighbors. The artistic acuity of the camera work con- 
trasted sharply with the propagandistic banality of the 
narrative. As the commentator introduced them, the 
camera panned around revealing pompous white 
farmers smiling, waving guns, and making every variety 
of racist statements. They swore to "uphold our land 
rights and way of life". The C.B.S. reporter later 
quoted remarks by Ian Smith — the Prime Minister of 
the illegal white regime — to the effect that "majority 
rule means marxist rule". 

Throughout this report the whites are presented as 
just nice hardworking folks, simply fighting to protect 
what is rightfully "theirs". No member of the African 
masses or their representatives were interviewed. What 
is wrong with this report should be obvious. In order to 
clarify my objection it is necessary to review certain 
facts regarding Zimbabwe. The beginning of white set- 
tlement in Zimbabwe was due to the activities of Cecil J. 
Rhodes in the late nineteenth century. To whites, 
Rhodes is remembered as am empire builder; to think- 
ing Africans he is remembered as a pirate, brigand, and 
rogue. The history of Rhodes relations with Africans is 
replete with treachery and debauchery. 

Driven by a lust for African land and gold, he made 
agreements with Africans then unilaterally disregarded 
them; smuggled in an army from England while feigning 
good relations with the African king; and caused the 
murder of the trusting king, Lubengula, ruler of the 
Ndebele people. The direct result of Rhodes thievery 
and murder is contemporary Zimbabwean society. The 
difference between South African and Zimbabwean 
society is like "Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum"; you 
have six on the one hand and a half dozen on the other. 
It is impossible to believe that the specter of ignorance 
prevails so heavily at C.B.S. News that no one 
understood these facts. 

Finally the issue here is why is C.B.S. so unabashedly 
partisan to white minority rule? Enlightened world opi- 
nion has soundly denounced the Smith clique, yet you 
possess the unmitigated gall to openly defend them. To 
quote as credible information Ian Smith's remark that 
"majority rule means marxist rule" appears to us as a 
willful derelection of reportorial duty. It also lends the 
He to any contention that C.B.S. News attempts to be 
objective on all issues. 

If there be any reader who having followed our argu- 

ment thus far remains unconvinced, we submit a final 
piece of evidence. On Thursday morning May 20th, 
C.B.S. News presented a series of interviews with whites 
in Zimbabwe. They were all pro-minority rule and 
represented Europeans as well as Americans. One of the 
characters most prominently featured was the white 
American who directs the psychological warfare effort 
for the Smith regime. There he stood, reflected on the 
silver screen, pasty-faced and foggy-minded, spouting 
pious platitudes in a vain attempt to justify white 
minority rule. He then went on to bore us with 
sophomoric tales of super whitey. 

There were other Americans who argued that the 
white minority should remain in power because "the 
streets of Salisbury are safer than the streets of Los 
Angeles". It seems that C.B.S. had an infinite capacity 
for nonsense when apologizing for white racism. This 
seems an almost inescapable conclusion after carefully 
scrutinizing your commentary and reportage on 
southern Africa. If we are to accept the argument that a 
white facist minority should rule Africa by virtue of 
superior technology and the ability to impose order, 
then it is equally valid to argue in defense of the Nazi 
Reich's right to rule in Europe. 

Let us be abundantly clear on one final point; the 
capitalist nations of the world created the problem in 
southern Africa. It is they who created the anti- 
democratic colonial systems in Africa, while at the same 
time proclaiming the virtues of democracy. In South 
Africa, blacks outnumber whites four to one, and in 
Zimbabwe, twenty-two to one. The black liberation 
movements in southern Africa (The P.A.C. and A.N.C. 
of Azania, the A.N.C. of Zimbabwe and S.W.A.P.O. 
of Namibia) enjoy a dedicated, articulate, and in- 
telligent leadership. They have demonstrated their com- 
mitment to their people through devoted struggle. They 
have gone far beyond any reasonable expectation in 
seeking a peaceful solution. The leaders of the capitalist 
world consistently turned a deaf ear to their pleas for 

There are so many questionable aspects to C.B.S. 
posture on this matter that it would be easily possible to 
double the length of this discourse. However, we 
recognize the virtual impossibility of overcoming a 
lifetime of racist indoctrination in a single discussion. 
We fully recognize the limitations of our discussions due 
to the restrictions of time and space. Still we feel the 
leader is likely to learn more from this analysis than 
anything yet presented by C.B.S. News on African af- 

There is a larger issue which haunts this entire discus- 
sion. That is the absolute disrespect shown to milHons 
of Americans of African descent by C.B.S. No other 
ethnic group is treated with such abject disregard when 
discussing issues relevant to their motherlands. This is 
not meant to suggest that Africa is the traditional home 
of the black race. As has been pointed out elsewhere, 
the slavery experience and the constant onslaught of 
racist propaganda emanating from the mass media, 


resulted in a rejection of Africa by many black 

One of the consequences of this rejection of Africa by 
black Americans is that whites have been free to pursue 
any sort of racist policy towards Africa. Well, as you 
will see, those days are long gone! This letter represents 
the beginning of a comprehensive investigation into the 
racial policy of C.B.S. One of the major questions we 
seek to answer is: Why does C.B.S. think it can con- 
sistently insult over thirty million Afro-Americans with 
impunity! We seek to know if this attitude can be cor- 
related to an absence of blacks in management and 
ownership positions in C.B.S. 

The result of this situation is that non-white 
Americans — along with most white workers, students, 
and radical intellectuals — have no access to the major 
media institutions. One of the obvious consequences of 
this state of affairs, is that the major media caters to the 
special interests of select class, racial, and ethnic 
groups. Indeed, as the outstanding Afro-American 
social theorist, Harold Cruse, has pointed out, the mass 
media as it presently exists, represents an extension of 
the power of the ownership class. One could therefore 
argue, that perhaps a great deal of C.B.S.' attitude on 
the southern Africa issue might simply reflect your 
special relationship with the U.S. corporate elite. 

For example, it is a well known fact that many of the 
three-hundred U.S. corporations doing business in 
South Africa are also clients of C.B.S. The fact that 
these corporations reap huge profits by observing South 
Africa's slave wage standard is also well known. In fact, 
the National Council of Churches has been fighting on 
this question for several years. They have even waged 
proxy fights in their laudible efforts to change American 
corporate poHcy in South Africa. Perhaps it would be 
helpful to investigate the nature and extent of C.B.S. 
business interest in South Africa. However, that ques- 
tion will have to await a more wide ranging study. 

It seems that C.B.S. places a much higher value on 
the interests of its corporate clients than on that of the 
millions of Afro-Americans who consume their pro- 
ducts. If so, we say this is plainly anti-democratic, a 
form of media tyranny as it were. This situation 
presents us with an extraordinary paradox in this 
bicentennial year, when the entire nation is called upon 
to rejoice in the destruction of tyranny! In order to 
democratize the reportage on southern Africa, certain 
steps must be taken immediately. There are two reasons 
why we are taking the liberty to spell out alternatives. 
Firstly, we believe there is merit to the argument that 
criticism is not enough. Secondly, we are supplying the 
black community with a yardstick by which to measure 
your response. 

There are certain minimum essentials which must be 
met, in order to bring some semblance of democratic 
fairness to your coverage of the southern African situa- 
tion. The first step is glaringly obvious: the leaders of 
the black liberation organizations must be given equal 
time to present their case. The American public has been 

preyed upon long enough by the one-sided, racist, anti- 
democratic propaganda which passes for objective 
reportage. The southern African liberation movements 
possess a wealth of intelligent, articulate, spokesmen 
who are quite capable of speaking for themselves. 

One wonders in bewilderment, at the callous 
disregard with which you have treated the legitimate 
spokesmen of the African people. Abel Muzerewa and 
Ndbaningi Sitole are both respected men of the cloth. 
The former is a bishop and the latter a minister in a ma- 
jor Christian denomination. They are also respected 
leaders of the African National Council of Zimbabwe, 
this organization is the national voice of the African 
people. In the American context this organization 
would be equal to the N.A.A.C.P., C.O.R.E., 
S.C.L.C. and the Urban League combined. What possi- 
ble reason could C.B.S. have for ignoring such men, 
while simultaneously subjecting the American pubhc to 
the ignominous rantings of white racist buffoons'! 

How is it possible that C.B.S. could overlook a man 
such as Joshua Nkomo? Here is a man even Ian Smith 
referred to as "reasonable", until he refused to par- 
ticipate in a sellout of his people at the recent constitu- 
tional talks. The Pan Africanist Congress of Azania 
(whites refer to this country as the Republic of South 
Africa) enjoys a highly intelligent and articulate 
spokesman in its Foreign Minister, Mr. David Sebieko. 
Mr. Sebieko is often in New York and can be contacted 
at the U.N. delegates lounge. I have personally met and 
talked with several of these leaders, especially Mr. 
Sebieko, and found their ideas infinitely more in- 
telligent than those of Ian Smith, John Vorster or Henry 
Kissinger's for that matter. 

The United Nations, representing most of the nations 
of the world, has declared the white South African oc- 
cupation of Namibia (popularly known as Southwest 
Africa) to be illegal. They recognize the South West 
African Peoples Organization headed by Mr. Sam 
Ujoma, to be the legitimate representatives of the Nami- 
bian people. It is well known that the U.N. provided the 
original mandate for the temporary administration of 
Namibia by South Africa. Therefore the U.N. was 
operating well within its realm of authority when it 
chose to terminate South Africa's mandate. In view of 
these realities we insist that C.B.S. stop presenting racist 
white South African spokesmen, and provide 
S.W.A.P.O. representatives with the opportunity to lay 
their case before the American public. 

In regard to the issue of American spokesmen on the 
South African question, it is high time you cease the 
parade of white racist ignoramuses. There exists within 
the U.S.A. a highly talented group of Afro-American 
scholars on African affairs. They are ready, willing, and 
more than able to comment on the South African situa- 
tion with sensitivity and intelligence. Among them are 
scholars of the calibre of Martin Kilson, who holds the 
same academic rank in the same department as Henry 
Kissinger, professor of Government at Harvard. 

There is Professor Willard Johnson, Chairman of the 


Political Science Department at M.I.T., Professors 
Elliot Skinner and Wilfred Cartey are both full pro- 
fessors at Columbia University. All of these men are 
outstanding scholars with international reputations. 
Professor William J. Wilson holds the same academic 
rank as Milton Frbedman at the same institution. Fur- 
thermore Professor Wilson, a social theorist, has writ- 
ten a major book on South African society. The title of 
this book is "Racism, Power, and Privilege". We sug- 
gest that had Messrs. Freedman and Severied availed 
themselves to its contents beforehand, they might have 
commented with considerably more intelligence. 

Scholars such as Professors John Hendrik Clarke and 
James Turner, of Hunter College and Cornell Universi- 
ty respectively, are men of wide experience with much of 
the leadership of Africa. Dr. Beverly Lindsay of Penn. 
State University is an important observer of African af- 
fairs and has conducted first hand interviews with black 
Zimbabweans. To be sure, this is only a partial listing of 
the available black scholars on African affairs. We 
would argue that the American public in general, and 
blacks in particular, have a right to hear the views of 
these scholars. Instead, we are abandoned to the in- 
competent meanderings of neophyte white reporters 
bemused by the complexity of events, eloquent old 
silvery haired hypocrites, and academic hired guns who 
pose as objective social scientists. 

In the geopolitical circumstances of the U.S. you 
possess an awesome power to determine events. In many 
ways this power exceeds that of a poweful army in less 
developed areas of the world. One therefore wonders as 
to your objectives in giving license to the vice of racism 
in your coverage of southern Africa. It is virtually im- 
possible to escape the conclusion, that you are engaged 
in a sinister attempt to manipulate American sentiment 
in favor of the white facist minority. In our view this is 
an extremely dangerous development and must be op- 

Professor Fred Friendly of the Columbia School of 
Journalism, recently pointed out, that the public has 
virtually no means of opposing the excesses of broad- 
cast media. That is why we have chosen the open letter 
as the vehicle to express our objections. This document 
will be published and widely circulated in this country 
and in Africa. We call upon African Americans in par- 
ticular and progressive Americans in general, to resist 
this attempt at subterfuge by C.B.S. It is conceivable 
that you may be so intoxicated with the arrogance of 
power, that you will choose to ignore this expression of 
dissent. But you may rest assured, that you will hear 
more from the black community on this matter. 

Playthell Benjamin 

Adjunct Professor, W.E.B. DuBois Dept. 

University of Massachusetts, Amherst 

?ve Bj'Ko 

if Antji- SK*' 

Steve Biko 


Antar Shakir 


The Role of Afrikan Men 

in the Liberation Struggle 

of the 70's to 80's 

"Some of the contradictions of Afrilon men will 
be briefly analyzed. The present role of Afrikan 
men in the liberation of Afrikan's colonized in the 
U.S.A. is strategic. One of the first suggestions for 
Afrikan men providing leadership in our struggle 
is to first change our view point of the Afrikan 
females being an object rather than our equal. The 
next step would be changing our behavior pattern 
in the Afrikan family household. 

The total roles of all family life must be changed 
if we as a people really desire freedom in our 
lifetime. Present struggles in Afrika and other 
developing and other developing countries have 
had to deal with the question of men and women's 
relationships to each other. Afrikan men can no 
longer afford to continue to be an oppressor to the 
Afrikan female. 

We must begin to deal with each other as one 
family if we are going to change our conditions 
now, in our lifetime. 

The struggle continues. 

Agitate, work for the people without a thought 
of material reward." 



!UNW. m MSI, 

m 51980 DRUM STAFF 

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Kelly Wright 

Carl Yates 

Advisor Professor of Art Nelson Stevens 

of the W.E.B. DuBois Department 
of African American Studies