"If there is an extra-royal gentry in Zulu society, then it was into this class that Albert John Lutuli was born," wrote Dorothy C. Woodson, curator of African Collections at Yale. Born in 1898 near Bulawayo in what is now Zimbabwe, Albert John Lutuli was the son of Mtonya Gumende, who was born into the household of Ceshwayo, a Zulu king. On his father's side, both his uncle Martin and his grandfather Ntaba were tribal chiefs in the rural area of Natal near Durban on South Africa's southeast coast. But the era into which Albert Lutuli was born would not be kind to tribal chiefs and kings. With a one-to-four ratio of whites to blacks, coastal white people rooted in a solid two hundred fifty years of history in South Africa would seek to maintain control through power, property, law, and, when all else failed, violence. And black tribal people of the interior with their two-thousand-year seniority would oppose white control by the strength of their numbers, their ability to live off the land, passive resistance, and, when all else failed, violence. It was a deadly mix of fear and power gone amuck.

Apartheid resulted—a vain solution of being separate but not equal. It began with a rather benign "Native Land Act" in 1913 and solidified in 1950 with laws prohibiting blacks from public protest and voting. By then, black South Africans had lost the right to hold property (outside of the reserved 13% of the land), work (except at physical labor), travel except as permitted, have adult children living with them, marry out of their race, speak to news reporters, vote, or receive college preparatory education. As white Prime Minister H. F. Verwoerd explained, "Natives will be taught from childhood that equality with Europeans ...

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