Anti-Apartheid badge

Teaching ideas

Show students the badge without providing any contextual information. Ask them to discuss their ideas about the badge’s design and what it could represent – you may want to ask them to hypothesise about any significance in the colours used. Show students further AAM badges from For the classroom gradually, allowing them time to discuss and build up further ideas. Introduce some background information; the two video summaries of apartheid in For the classroom could be useful for this. Invite students to return to and review their ideas about the badge. Students could do some research into the meaning of the yin and yang and discuss why this symbol was incorporated into AAM’s logo.

Discuss why the AAM produced badges and what purpose the badges served. Students may wish to share badges or other objects they have to show their support for current causes. Discuss other methods used to spread campaign messages. Ask students to use the link to the AAM archive in For the classroom to research the methods the AAM used by looking at a range of ephemera. Which do they think were most effective and why?

Use some of the many resources available online to familiarise students with immigration to Britain in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Consider the experience of these immigrants and how they responded to the racism they encountered. Use the BBC Class Clip of two Asian youths to move the timescale on to the 1960s. Use some of the videos and other resources in For the classroom to examine if and how experiences and responses had changed by the 1970s and 1980s.

Use the objects in A bigger picture to compare some of the approaches to campaigning used historically. Students might focus on specific aspects of the historical campaigns and investigate how they happened in practice, what their effects were and whether or not they helped the cause. Additional texture can be added by using some of the resources in For the classroom such as the video calling for the boycott of South African apples and the reminiscences of activists. See also the object file: Thomas Clarkson’s campaign chest in these resources.

Which was the most successful campaign of the twentieth century?

Use the Parliament UK Timeline to identify some of the political campaigns in Britain since the 1600s or follow the historical campaigns link on the British Library Campaign site. Select some campaigns to investigate in more detail – possible examples might be votes for women, US Civil Rights, the anti-apartheid campaign, the anti-racism campaigns of the 1970s and 1980s, campaigns against nuclear weapons. Discuss the campaign methods used – the Campaign website is useful to identify categories of action as is this website on the abolition of slavery: http://abolition.e2bn.org/campaign.html. For each campaign examine the methods used and their relative success. Discuss which campaigns are easy to assess and which more difficult. Why is this?

Did the Anti-Apartheid Movement make a difference?

This enquiry will require an outline study of the history of apartheid from its beginnings in the 1940s and 1950s to its abolition following the elections of 1994. Then use the AAM archive - link in For the classroom – to identify the different campaigns conducted by the AAM over its lifetime and relate these to resistance in South Africa itself and to changes in international attitudes to South Africa. Which of the AAM campaigns do the students think was the most effective? Whatever their views on the impact of AAM, what factor overall do the students think was most important in bringing about the collapse of apartheid?

How were the campaigns for racial equality and justice different in Britain and the USA?

An interesting comparison can be made between the Civil Rights Movement in the USA in the half-century following World War II and the struggle against racism in Britain in the same period. Students will need to identify the differences in the starting points for the minority communities and also differences in terms of prior experience and status and diversity. Campaigning methods can be compared – there were cross-overs between the two as can be seen in the BBC Class Clip on Black Power in For the classroom. Discuss what difference, if any, the existence of a constitution made to the American campaign. How important were the moments of violence in both campaigns? Object file: Jesse Jackson campaign badge might be useful in this enquiry.

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Anti-Apartheid badge