“RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope”
“RFK in the Land of Apartheid: A Ripple of Hope” tells the little-known story of Robert Kennedy's 1966 visit to South Africa during the worst years of apartheid. Featuring never before seen archival footage, and interviews in South Africa and the United States, filmmakers Larry Shore and Tami Gold tell the story of Senator Robert Kennedy’s influential June 1966 visit to South Africa during the worst years of Apartheid. The film is a unique portrait of Senator Kennedy in action at an important moment in American and South African history. The filmmakers explore the visit through the sights and sounds of present day South Africa.
Robert Kennedy’s visit gave opponents of Apartheid - both black and white - hope and courage to challenge the Apartheid system at a time when they felt isolated and few in the outside world knew what was happening in South Africa. The film evokes the connections between the struggle for racial equality in the United States and South Africa.
The program follows Kennedy in South Africa during the five-day visit, including his famous “Day of Affirmation” speech at the University of Cape Town on June 6, 1966, and his visit to Stellenbosch, the pro-Apartheid Afrikaans university.
A high point of the film is Kennedy’s meeting with one of the unknown giants of South African and African history - Nobel Peace Prize winner, Chief Albert Luthuli, who was banned and forced to live in a remote rural area. The film travels with RFK to Soweto, the largest black township, where he meets thousands of people and gives voice to Chief Luthuli’s call for a free South Africa.
Airs Monday, August 22 at 10 pm on WCVE PBS and WHTJ PBS