Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #278) - Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
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Title: Long Walk Original Manuscript (Image #278)
Transcript: did make a difference, but the improvements were confined to the political detainees and for the duration of the State of Emergency and were hemmed in with the pattern of race craziness. Thus Africans were provided what was called an improved Diet, which in substance really meant we received bread daily; Indians and Coloureds were given the diet provided to white prisoners. The Moslems among the Indians presented the authorities with a dilemma because they demanded kosher food, and this led to the Indian detainees being allowed a kitchen of their own where they could cook for themselves. Though this was intended for "Indians only", from time to time other black detainees did find food from this kitchen making its way on to their plates.
The struggle against oppression goes on even behind prison walls and some of the scrawls on the walls inspired us a great deal. They showed that even amongst the non political prisoners the desire to live freely, to win human dignity and equality of opportunity cannot be easily extinguished. One of these read: "Mabhuru (Boers) why you oppress us like this?" Another contained a drawing of the swastika with the words: "You bloody fascists!" A third read: "You whites will pay dearly for this!"
Our situation sharpened our eyes for all anti apartheid symbols and we were constantly looking for new recruits against the enemy. These scrawls sparked off lengthy and spirited discussions on whether in our struggle we could count on the support of "anti social" forces. Some tended to follow the orthodox line of the unreliability of this section of the population and in support of their argument inted the experience of progressive movements in Europe and elsewhere.
Extent and Medium: 1 page