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South Africa at the Festival: The Historical Context

For most of this century, the mere mention of South Africa has evoked images of immeasurable racist inhumanity in the minds of people across the globe. Yet the country has also represented a gloriously just struggle fueled by democratic aspirations for high human achievement. It was to this struggle that curators Bernice Johnson Reagon, Rosie Hooks, and I dedicated the three-month African Diaspora program at the Bicentennial Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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