This Day in History

April 1, 1955: ANC Protest Bantu Education Act

Time Periods: Cold War: 1945 - 1960
Themes: Education, World History/Global Studies

On April 1, 1955, the African National Congress called on parents to withdraw their children from South African schools in resistance to the 1953 Bantu Education Act.

Here is how the Minister of Bantu Education Dr. H. F. Verwoerd described the need for the Act to Parliament:

When I have control of Native education I will reform it so that Natives will be taught from childhood to realize that equality with Europeans is not for them . . . People who believe in equality are not desirable teachers for Natives. When my Department controls Native education it will know for what class of higher education a Native is fitted, and whether he will have a chance in life to use his knowledge. [From the Washington Post article “Read the most important speech Nelson Mandela ever gave.”]

Learn more at South African History Online.