South Africa

Steve Biko on Death
January 07, 1978

South African liberation leader Steven Biko meditates on his life, just months before his death.

Mahatma Gandhi and his Apostles
July 09, 1977

Mahatma Gandhi and his Apostles by Ved Mehta (Viking; $14.95)  Gandhi and Civil Disobedience by Judith M. Brown (Cambridge University Press; $32.50) The elephant is like a rope, says the blind man. It is like a tree-trunk, says another. No, it is like a snake, says a third.

White, Black and Very Blue
July 31, 1976

Will the all-too-precipitate departure of the black nations brand the twenty-first Olympiad as "the White Games?" This was obviously Africa's purpose in exiting en bloc, if helter-skelter: to emphasize the dignity of the black man by undermining the international character of the event. The issue for the Africans was the presence in Montreal of New Zealand, which earlier this month had sent a rugby team to play in racist South Africa. Sadly, despite the commendable motives of the Africans, their gesture is doomed to failure. And, what is worse, oblivion.

December 08, 1973

… I was arrested on May 11, 1970, in Sao Paulo, on my way to dinner with a young lady I had recently met… She had been arrested several days previously and violently tortured and taken to Operacion Bandeirantes… With four armed policemen we went to OBAN headquarters. During the journey [one] ordered the young lady to show me her hands so that I 'could have an idea of what awaited me.' They… were handcuffed… greatly swollen and covered with dark purple hematomas.

He’s a Happening
April 01, 1966

Robert Kennedy is on to something. He hovers over it like a pig in the Perigord sniffing a truffle. It is just below the surface; he can't quite see it; he doesn't know its size or shape or worth or even what it's called. He only knows it's there, and he is going to get it. Where does he look? Among the grape-pickers on strike in central California, in Cloth Market Square in Cracow, on the Ole Miss campus, in a Senate hearing room. And always with the same single-minded, almost frightening intensity.