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Robert Sobukwe has an inspirational and tragic story.

He was the leader of the Pan Africanist Congress which led a major political campaign in 1960 against pass laws in South Africa. Pass laws were the driving force of apartheid, requiring non-whites to carry pass books that would allow them to travel outside their “designated areas”. These passbooks were like passports for blacks, they would mostly be allowed to come into white areas for work and could be stopped by any white person, even a child, for inspection of their passbooks.

Sobukwe and the PAC held a peaceful demonstration against the passbooks in the Sharpeville township that turned into the infamous Sharpeville Massacre in which police opened fired on unarmed demonstrators killing over 60 people.

After the incident in Sharpeville, Sobukwe and other PAC leaders were arrested and imprisoned. Sobukwe was seen as a major threat to the Apartheid government and lived in solitary confinement on Robben Island for six years. He was allowed no contact with anyone else ever, and eventually developed serious damage to his vocal cords, he eventually died of lung cancer (well that is what the government reported at least).

Wikipedia links for y’all-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Sobukwe 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pass_laws

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpeville_massacre

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