Category: south africa

The racist signs of Apartheid: What South Africans had to look at every day for four decades.

Boer woman and child in an internment camp operated by the British in South Africa during the Second Boer War in years 1900–1902.

via reddit

A Xhosa mother nursing her child, South Africa, ca. 1929

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South African Army Pilots claimed the Airforce pilots could never make them hit the deck, South Africa. 1964.

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The harsh realities of Apartheid-era South Africa through a black South African’s lens.

50 candid Polaroids of ordinary people in Cape Town in the early 1960s.

A protest demonstration by students from Witwatersrand University, South Africa, 1961

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This small stone is about 100,000 years old. Found in a cave in South Africa, it has been touted as the earliest evidence that humanity could make symbols. And symbols are evidence of a sophisticated mind, rather like when a two-year-old first realizes the picture book Spot is a representation of the family dog. But a new study by a cognitive scientist finds that these markings and others like them lack key characteristics of symbols.

Dr. Kristian Tylén’s team examined the stones found in the cave as well as broken ostrich shells all dating to between about 52,000 to 109,000 years ago. That is after the emergence of Homo Sapiens, but before widespread artistic expression, such as cave art. If the markings were truly symbolic – if a horizontal line represented the horizon, or a wavy line represented the ocean – then the symbols would have to be different enough from each other. Sort of like how :/ and 🙂 and 🙁 mean different things, and are easily distinguishable. And at each locality, the symbols would evolve and become distinct over time from symbols in other localities. Sort of like how Americans’ 🙂 became Russians’ ) and Koreans’ ^^.

Dr. Tylén’s team did an experiment. Could modern humans could sort the markings into groups, putting the same “symbols” together? And they found that no, the “symbols” were not distinct enough. That’s the  equivalent of  🙂 and :/ and 🙁 ending up in the same group. It is a minimal test of being a symbol — being distinct from another marking — and the engravings failed.

During Apartheid in South Africa, a bus driver was fired for refusing to pick up a Japanese man  – who was legally considered a “white” person at the time.

The bus driver was reinstated after he stated he could not tell the difference between a Japanese person  – legally “white” – and a Chinese person – legally “not white.”