Things Fall Apart - The Rise of the Post-Civil Rights Era
by: Rachel Barnes, Emily Walker, Stephanie Hallett
This chapter discussed the 1980’s and the segregation and hatred that was still very much present even after the Civil Rights Movement. Beginning with a discussion of apartheid, the chapter discussed American’s reaction to the racism that was present in South Africa. The movement began quite slowly, with large companies attempt to divest, however after Nelson Mandela’s arrest and the banning of his organization, the South African government was able to silence Black resistance and continue its segregated trends. But in 1984 the anti-apartheid movement began to pick up speed again as multiple states began to divest, and numerous protests again apartheid began to occur across the country, particularly on college campuses. Different from the civil rights movement, black students now played a critical role in organizing and executing the protests. They also began to question the lack of black citizens in positions of power within their communities and the anti-apartheid movement expanded to an anti-racist movement by the late 80’s. While these protests turned quite violent, they began to work as multiple companies, universities, and states began to divest and the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act was passed in 1986. In 1990, Nelson Mandela was released and became the first black elected president in 1994.
Although the Civil Rights Movement helped eliminate segregation, it did not eliminate hatred. Many northern cities still had highly segregated areas, or ghettos, and hate incidents spiked nationally. Black youth looked up to Minister Louis Farrakhan of Islam, who promoted peace and self affirmation in a time of hatred. Described in detail was the incident of Howard Beach, a predominantly white community where a black man was struck by a vehicle and killed for being in the wrong neighborhood.