Ending Apartheid

students line the sidewalk down center campus

After the 1976 Soweto student uprising, I came to Grinnell in 1977 determined that the school divest from companies operating in South Africa. Our group wrote articles, protested, and eventually negotiated with the trustee chosen to speak with us, the young tech guru Steve Jobs. We were part of a national movement working for divestment. This year, I had a chance to visit Soweto and met Antoinette Sithole, the sister of the first student killed, Hector Pieterson. She said the Soweto students took strength in knowing that American students were organizing alongside them. We thanked one another for helping end apartheid.

Kristin Layng Szakos ’81
Charlottesville, Virginia