Amadla!: Apartheid In South Africa Essay

886 words - 4 pages

The question presented, concerning the South African apartheid and the music that was involved with the movements, debates whether the music came from the people’s desire to over come apartheid or if the music was a catalyst to the movement. As explained in the movie, the people used music for different aspects of the music, fundamentally a different song for every part of the movement. The music was a way in which the people could express themselves in a way that was noticed by their over rulers and which included all people taking part in the revolution.
Apartheid essentially aimed at keeping non-white communities from thriving in any way, through racial segregation. Amandla! Focuses on ...view middle of the document...

As Jeremy Cronin explained in the film, Vuyilsile Mimi used his powerful singing voice to organize followers in his protesting. Mimi was one of the well-respected leaders against the apartheid movement, whom was featured being recovered from the ground at the beginning of the film. The songs offered an alternative to violence to lead the revolution.
The music that came from the apartheid movements showed many similarities to sub-Saharan African music. As we covered in discussion, a majority of sub-Saharan music focused on giving all members equal parts in every song, in example not having a specific lead singer but having every singer sing the same part of the song. The songs also focused on giving people individual freedom in singing parts of the song. This freedom of singing either the chorus, backup pieces, or yodeling, etc. reflected the views of those in the revolution, they wanted their individual freedom and respected others’. This equal distribution of musical parts in sub-Saharan culture took away any socio-economic differences between individuals, which is what the apartheid movement aimed at removing.
One movement that comes to mind when thinking of similar movements to that of the South African revolution and music is the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, which took place in New York, USA in mid August 1969 (3). Shortened to Woodstock, this movement aimed at the American involvement in the Vietnam war. Famous musical artists, such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Grateful Dead, led a peaceful musical concert along with 400,000 attendees (3) aimed at spreading awareness of the harm of the war and corruption in the government in general. This protest music was...

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