Apartheid 101

An overview of Apartheid in South Africa, introduced in 1948

Apartheid was a social philosophy which enforced racial, social, and economic segregation on the people of South Africa. The term Apartheid comes from the Afrikaans word meaning 'separation'.

Apartheid FAQ

Students of Johns Hopkins University fight against South African apartheid, 1970. Afro American Newspapers/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images

There are a number of Frequently Asked Questions about the history of Apartheid in South Africa - find out the answers here.

Legislation was the Backbone of Apartheid

Laws were enacted which defined a person's race, separated the races in terms of where they could live, how they traveled, where they could work, where they spent their free time, introduced a separate system of education for Blacks, and crushed opposition.

Timeline of Apartheid

An understanding of how Apartheid came about, how it was implemented, and how if affected all South Africans is most easily gained through a timeline.

  • Timeline of Apartheid History: 1912 to 1959
  • Timeline of Apartheid History: 1960 to 1979
  • Timeline of Apartheid History: 1980 to 1994

Key Events in the History of Apartheid

Whilst much of the implementation of Apartheid was slow and insidious, there were a number of key events which had a significant impact on the people of South Africa.

Key Figures in the History of Apartheid

Although the true story of Apartheid is how it affected all people of South Africa, there were a number of key figures who had a significant impact on the creation and the struggle against Apartheid. Read their biographies.

Apartheid Leaders

Anti-Apartheid Leaders

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Boddy-Evans, Alistair. "Apartheid 101." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/apartheid-101-overview-43438. Boddy-Evans, Alistair. (2021, February 16). Apartheid 101. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/apartheid-101-overview-43438 Boddy-Evans, Alistair. "Apartheid 101." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/apartheid-101-overview-43438 (accessed May 28, 2023).