Tuesday, December 10, 2013

No Peeking

In lieu of This Week's Sneak Peek, I offer a cartoon I drew in September of 1989. The speaker in the cartoon is South African Prime Minister F. W. deKlerk, making an announcement after months of police beatings of anti-apartheid demonstrators.
As the world celebrates the life of Nelson Mandela, it's striking to read educators and others remarking that students and young adults today do not know anything about him. And yet, trying to think back for an analogous case for my generation, I suppose some of my high school classmates had heard of the 1956 uprising in Hungary, but very few would have been able to identify Imre Nagy.

I went to college during a time when there were loud calls for colleges and university to divest from South Africa over its apartheid policies -- a hot-button issue at the time. The Soweto riots made headlines around the world, as did the death in police custody of Stephen Biko. America joined a wave of nations imposing sanctions against South Africa in 1986 only after the U.S. Congress overrode Ronald Reagan's veto.

The first cartoon I ever drew about South Africa was inspired by the film "Last Grave at Dimbaza" in 1975 or so. I no longer have the cartoon, which showed an armed white South African in pith helmet and safari gear using a dug grave as a warfare trench. I later discovered that Milwaukee Journal cartoonist Bill Sanders had drawn pretty much the exact same cartoon a few months earlier.

In spite of that sketchbook caricature of Nelson Mandela that I posted the other day -- drawn somewhere around the time that he was released from prison after 27 years -- I don't appear to have drawn him in any cartoons for publication at the time.

No comments:

Post a Comment