Ripple of Hope

Use of “RFK in the Land of Apartheid...” in High School Classes

[Download the PDF document version here: for high schools.pdf]

This educational section of the website is to be used in conjunction with the film. It is relevant for high school classes in Social Studies, History and Public Speaking.

The goal is to stimulate students to be interested in this important period in South African and American history- the 1960’s- and encourage efforts to understand the connections between the struggle for racial justice in the United States and South Africa, and America’s special relationship with South Africa. It will hopefully also inform high school students on global issues such as America’s role in the world and its relationship with undemocratic societies.

We are very aware how busy teachers are so it is our goal to make the film and related lesson/s as easy to prepare for as possible.

The major goal is for the teacher to lead an interesting class discussion and where relevant for the film and website to be used for written assignments. The basic lesson preparation is:

1. Watch the film.
2. Read the BACKGROUND document in THE VISIT IN HISTORY section of the website.
3. Look through some of the MEDIA coverage of the visit.

Those teachers that want to go into the subject in greater detail, or to use the additional available teaching materials, should look at the DOCUMENTS and RESOURCES sections.

Student preparation:
After watching the film students should spend some time (30 to 60 minutes) going through THE VISIT IN HISTORY section of the website- They should read the BACKGROUND document and look at some of the MEDIA coverage of the visit.

Questions for class discussion and written assignments:

1. What did “Apartheid” mean in South Africa in 1966 when Robert Kennedy visited?

2. How was the South African experience with race similar or different to that of the United States?

3. What was America’s relationship with South Africa in 1966 ?

4. Who was Chief Albert Luthuli ? What was Dr. Martin Luther King’s connection to him ?

5. What was the significance of Senator Kennedy’s meeting with Chief Luthuli and his talking about the meeting during his visit to Soweto ?

6. What was the significance of Senator Kennedy’s visit for opponents of Apartheid?

7. Look at the “Black Christ” painting in the RESOURCES section of the website - what is it about this painting that made the South African Government so concerned that they banned it within days of its first showing?

8. Go through Senator Kennedy’s South African SPEECHES and identify three American references. Write a short paragraph which states:

a. The name of the person or event.
b. Who or what they were (one sentence).
c. The context of Senator Kennedy’s citation of them in his speech.

Some users might choose to skip these discussion questions and go directly to the crossword puzzle.