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South African School Under Fire For Slave Auction Poster Activity.

South African School Under Fire For Racist Classroom Activity

While Black Lives Matter protests continue across the world, Parklands College failed to read the room with an exercise that required learners to design a slave auction poster.

Parklands College, a school in Cape Town, South Africa has issued an apology after it came under fire for a racist classroom activity given to Grade 7 learners to complete. The activity, titled "Fun Activity", required that learners design a poster advertising a slave auction that took place in the 1800s. The matter is now reportedly under investigation, according to News24.


READ: Black Alumni of South Africa, It's Time We Stand for Change at Our Former Schools

The incident came into the spotlight after a parent with a child at the school took to Facebook to condemn the school.

In a recent statement, Parklands College Principle, Carel Kriek, said the following:

"The assignment was issued before lockdown and pupils were expected to hand it last week. We have explained to many people and apologised to those who are offended. I don't think the intention of CAPS for slavery topic is to put anyone in a bad light to play one race against the other. It is something that we are supposed to do as a primary school. We removed it three years ago and Umalusi forced us to put it back in our curriculum."

Umalusi is the official body that is responsible for accrediting private schools as well as private assessment bodies that offer tuition for qualifications.

The incident has occurred during a time where the world over is battling with systemic racism and the targeting of the Black community. With the continued Black Lives Matter protests in America, and now several other countries in solidarity, tone deaf incidents such as these only serve to further highlight just how deep the roots of racism run.

The conversation has also led to many South Africans on social media sharing their experiences of racism at various high schools under the banner #RacismInSAHighSchools. Read some of their reactions below:





Interview
Photo: Benoit Peverelli

Interview: Oumou Sangaré Proves Why She's the Songbird of Wassoulou

We caught up with the Malian singer to talk about her new Acoustic album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

When Oumou Sangaré tells me freedom is at her core, I am not surprised. If you listen to her discography, you'll be hard-pressed to find a song that doesn't center or in some way touch on women's rights or child abuse. The Grammy award-winning Malian singer has spent a significant part of her career using her voice to fight for the rights of women across Africa and the world, a testimony to this is her naming her debut studio album Moussolou, meaning Woman. The album, a pure masterpiece that solidified Oumou's place amongst the greats and earned her the name 'Songbird of Wassoulou,' was a commercial success selling over 250,000 records in Africa and would in turn go on to inspire other singers across the world.

On her latest body of work Acoustic, a reworking of her critically acclaimed 2017 album Mogoya, Oumou Sangaré proves how and why she earned her accolades. The entirety of the 11-track album was recorded within two days in the Midi Live studio in Villetaneuse in 'live' conditions—with no amplification, no retakes or overdubs, no headphones. Throughout the album, using her powerful and raw voice that has come to define feminism in Africa and shaped opinions across the continent, Oumou boldly addresses themes like loss, polygamy and female circumcision.

We caught up with the Malian singer at the studio she is staying while in quarantine to talk about her new album, longevity as an artist, and growing up in Mali.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

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