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The Afrikaans word apartheid means “separateness,” or apart-hood, and was used to describe the official government policy of legally enforced racial separation in South Africa from 1948 to 1994. Under the policy of apartheid, all South Africans were separated by race with regard to where they lived, where they went to school, and where they worked. The most distinctive feature of apartheid was the brutality of government enforcement and the increasingly violent repression of free speech and protest inside the country. The term apartheid has become synonymous with rigid racial separation, leading to its use as a measure of criticism in a variety of racially discriminatory situations around the world. This entry will detail the background and rise of apartheid in South Africa, the resistance ...

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