Contrasts between the South African and the American Society Related to Tsotsi Film
Tsotsi is a film based on a story of a young man, who stays alone in poor black communities of South Africa’s Johannesburg city, a place where locals hardly visit. The place has high level of poverty and crime. The film shows how someone living in poor and harsh conditions may change to become a leader in the society and bring changes in the social wellbeing system (Hood). The film is based on a novel called Tsotsi and features the large Soweto slum in South Africa where apartheid began. The apartheid regime that occurred in South Africa in the 1990s is similar to the Civil Rights Movements in America, which occurred more than five decades ago. The situation in South African society can be compared to the American one, because the aims of these movements were to stop racism among the society and end mistreatment based on color; while both countries still experience white dominance. Lastly, these movements ended a hard period of racism and the two countries still have a lot to learn from each other.
The struggle in South Africa and America was against racism in the society. It is important to note that unlawful segregation and the racial slavery, which was eradicated long time ago in America, was the cause of the struggle and hardships among the blacks in both countries. The black population in the American and the South African society has been given the right to hold any senior offices in the government and to vote as well. Despite the blacks being given these privileges, the whites still hold most powers in both societies (Fredrickson 262). This is to prevent the black society from moving authoritatively beyond any political rights to the triumph of economic and social equality. In America it is obvious to be an unsubstantive equality. This is because the white population continues to dominate the economy, the electorate system and the government.
Similarly, South Africa experiences the same dominance from the whites despite having many electorates as black people. The settlement negotiated in order to end the whites’ monopolization in the political arena and end apartheid, which left the Europeans controlling the whole economy and depriving the government to reallocate wealth radically. The living standards of the blacks may have been improved by economic growth and free market techniques, but have failed to close the gap between the impoverished black majority and prosperous white minority. According to Fredrickson, the South African society can learn from the United States’ experience since 1960s that the formal rights of citizenship are not sufficient to overcome the effects achieved during the three hundred years of the white dominance (265). The lessons that can be learnt by the African-American strugglers for freedom from the developments made in South Africa recently are compelling, but may be less tangible on the other hand. Perhaps the message of hope is the first one because the apartheid end miracle may serve as a solution to the negativism attributed by the observers to other parts of this population (Fredrickson 267).
These movements ended a hard period of racism in the South African and the American society and they both can learn from each other. The unconquerable spirit of Nelson Mandela during his imprisonment and insurmountable hardships shows the need for the black population to have faith in freedom. Additionally, the white population fighting racism may also get inspirations from the Europeans in the African National Council, who were imprisoned, killed and who even lost their family members, but they never lost their morale in the struggle for they are currently in the government (Fredrickson 268). A combination of government programs fighting poverty and affirmative action is required if the economic gap amidst the black and the white population is to be attained in America. The struggle of the blacks in America might borrow some important information from the tactical and ideological flexibility demonstrated by the African National Congress.
In conclusion, the ideas in the movie Tsotsi are compared to the struggle of the black society during the era of the Civil Rights Movements in America (Fredrickson 270). This is because the struggles encountered by the black community in both countries were due to similar reasons: racial discrimination and oppression by the whites. The struggle bore fruits, bringing to an end the apartheid in South Africa and giving the blacks equal opportunities in America. However, there is still white dominance in all major sectors of economy, leaving most of the blacks impoverished in both countries.
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