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Katie van Schaijik

Sheena Duncan, RIP

May. 8, 2010, at 11:24am

The New York Times has an obituary portrait (hat tip Jen Rubin) of a courageous white woman, who did what she could to fight the vicious system of apartheid in South Africa.

Over decades of volunteer work — counseling thousands of black South Africans, plotting legal strategy, writing pamphlets, holding silent vigils and speaking out in churches and at universities — Mrs. Duncan moved far beyond the traditional sphere reserved for white women of her day.

She helped people whose families were being torn apart by laws that kept black workers in the cities to serve whites while exiling their kin to impoverished rural “bantustans,” or homelands. She invited those who sought her advice

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