50 Years Ago:Intermingling


You may not be interested in boxing, but it could hardly have escaped your attention last summer that a certain Ingemar Johansson had taken the world’s heavyweight title from the previous holder, Floyd Patterson. The South African government believes, however, that such knowledge as this would be seditious for all except the white population of South Africa. As it was reported in the Johannesburg Star (14/7/59):

“Non-whites are not allowed to see any film containing ‘scenes of intermingling of Europeans and non-Europeans.’ That is why non-whites have been banned from seeing the film now circulating of the recent Johannson-Patterson world heavy-weight title fight. Johannson is white, but Patterson is a negro. So the film cannot be screened at all in non-white cinemas. And in those where non-whites may sit in the gallery and whites in the stalls, the non-whites have to wait outside until this newsreel ends before taking their seats.”

If the South African government really thinks that this will keep the coloured population ignorant of the fact that a black man and a white man fought for the title, they must be well out of touch with reality.

(from African Passing show by Alwyn Edgar, Socialist Standard, March 1960

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