Hope Ripples Across the Generations

Consul General Frances Chisholm, film producer Larry Shore, and chairperson of Luthuli Museum Board Jabulani Sithole at Catalina Theatre.
Consul General Frances Chisholm, film producer Larry Shore, and chairperson of Luthuli Museum Board Jabulani Sithole at Catalina Theatre.

In partnership with Luthuli Museum, the U.S. Consulate hosted a July 22 screening of the documentary “A Ripple of Hope:  RFK in the Land of Apartheid” at the Catalina Theater on Durban’s scenic Wilson’s Wharf.  A large crowd including youth leaders, students, civil society members, municipal officials, historians, and business people turned out for the film, which was followed by a panel discussion with co-producer Professor Larry Shore and historian Jabulani Sithole.

Many in the audience had questions for the panel, which led to a lively conversation about the United States’ role in the anti-Apartheid movement, as well as the state of U.S.-South African relations in the 1960s and today.  Journalism students in attendance from Durban University of Technology produced a video clip of the event.

The film recounts Robert F. Kennedy’s visit to South Africa in 1966, when he was a Senator from New York.  Accompanied by his wife, Ethel, the founder of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Senator Kennedy witnessed the harsh regime of Apartheid firsthand, giving hope to the beleaguered opponents of the government—black and white alike—that their peaceful promotion of justice and democracy would one day win out.  He met with numerous South Africans including the banned President of the ANC and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Chief Albert Luthuli.