Fonds AE862 - Black Sash, Records

Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Removals Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township Photographs of Sada, a resettlement township
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Identity area

Reference code

ZA HPRA AE862

Title

Black Sash, Records

Date(s)

  • 1955 - 1999 (Creation)

Level of description

Fonds

Extent and medium

331 boxes and photographs

Context area

Name of creator

Administrative history

The Black Sash was a women's protest organisation and political pressure group, which originated in 1955. It was initially called the Women's Defense of the Constitution League, in response to the Senate Bill, a piece of Apartheid legislation, which was introduced into Parliament. This was seen as a violation of the legal provisions of the constitution, and as the breaking of a solemn pledge to the coloured people whose franchise rights had been entrenched in the South Africa Act of 1910.

The Black Sash women, so called from the black sash worn over the right shoulder, were conspicuous during vigils and silent poster demonstrations, standing up to protest in public places against unjust laws, often referred to by them as 'Sashing'. But the major part of the Sash work was behind the scenes, and consisted of informing the public by means of handouts, pamphlets, memos, letters, articles and statements to the press, and of delegations to government ministers

An important aspect of the Black Sash work was the Advice Offices which operated in various parts of the country. These were an attempt on the part of members to mitigate the effects of discriminatory legislation and to help black people find their way through the maze of the Pass Laws and enjoy at least those few rights to which they were entitled. Other problems handled by the Advice offices included employer/employee problems, workmen's compensation, unemployment insurance, and pensions

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Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

The papers consist partly of administrative records and partly of the recordsof political actions undertaken by Sash. There is also a collection of press cuttings. The papers cover the years 1955-1999.

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

The digital copies of the audio cassettes may be accessed at the Historical Papers Research archive reading room.

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Finding aids

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Notes area

Note

The digitisation of the cassette audio tapes for this collection was made possible by a generous grant from the Carnegie Foundation

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