Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #170) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #170)
Transcript: the African people has long been shattered and practically all AFricans, whether rural or urban have been drawn inextricably into a money economy. The government's object in turning the African back to a tribal structure was nothing short of callous design to block African advancement. From the speech delevered by Verwoerd when he moved the 2nd reading of the Bill, it was clear that lofty considerations mentioned by the Commission were a mere smokescreen and that, far from seeking to solve these problems, the real aim of the Act was to do the exact opposite. It was intended to put an end to the system of education which, he held, encouraged Africans to have expectations in life which circumstances in the country did not allow to be fulfilled, which offered a form of cultural trainign which strengthened the desire of the Africans for white collar jobs. From our point of view the Act was a sinister and negative measure which, once applied, would turn the clock back for many years to come. In 1954 the government announced that African schools would be taken over by the State on April 1, 1955 and a draft syllabus for the African lower primary schools was issued for use in 1956. The ANC discussed plans for a boycott on the date of transfer.
Inevitabely the discussion turned on whether we should call upon the people to stage a protest for a limited period, or whether we should proclaim a permanent boycott and go all out to destroy Bantu Education. There were enthusiastic advocates for both views which were presented forcefully and skillfully. The argument for an indifinate boycott was based mainly upon the principle that Bantu Education was intended to prepare our children for a subservient position in life. It was like poison which one could not drink even when one was almost on the point of death from thirst. The argument in the National Executive took place at the height of the storm raised by the new law and
Extent and Medium: 1 page