Coconut Kelz reflects on the youth of 1976: 'They ran so we could fly'
“We will not stop until black children have the freedoms promised to us to attend school and not experience unchecked racism.”
These are the words of comedian and satirist Lesego Tlhabi, known as Coconut Kelz, who reflected on the anniversary of the 1976 Soweto uprising on June 16.
On Tuesday, SA commemorated the brave who stood up to spark an uprising and protested against inequality and oppression under the apartheid government. The 1976 youth uprisings protested against the Bantu Education Act and the introduction of Afrikaans as a compulsory medium of instruction at schools.
In a series of tweets, Coconut Kelz said the youth of 1976 “ran so we could fly” and that their sacrifices were not for nothing.
She said while some things have changed since then, the attitudes of many whites remained the same.
“The attitudes of many white South Africans unfortunately still mirror those of 1976 and it is why even though legal racism has ended, we have a long way to go until systemic racism (and racism in general) is over,” she said.
She also said she was moved by the sacrifice and commitment made by the youth decades ago to ensure that schools today are “better and safer” for black children.
“As we go to our schools to examine codes of conduct and rules written before and during apartheid that very much favour one race, I am moved by the sacrifices made by the youth in 76 and commit to ensuring that we will make our schools better, safer and more inclusive for black children,” she said.
Read the full thread below.
That’s what you ladies and gentlemen sound like when you say stupid shit like that about the women and girls fighting racism in schools today. That they should stop because an inanimate object (the school) is feeling pain but black pain doesn’t matter pic.twitter.com/uswwTGSnPP— Coconut Kelz (@CoconutKelz) June 16, 2020
That their sacrifices weren’t for nothing. That they ran so we could fly. We will not stop until black children have the freedoms promised to us to attend school and not experience unchecked racism at the hands of their peers, and of those meant to protect them.#youthday pic.twitter.com/hMX4eSgQvV— Coconut Kelz (@CoconutKelz) June 16, 2020