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Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican cleric who is known for his role in the opposition to apartheid in South Africa.
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A pride in what they were doing. A pride that said they may define you as so and so. You aren't that. Make sure you prove them wrong by becoming what the potential in you says you can become."
Nevertheless, Tutu became increasingly frustrated with the racism corrupting all aspects of South African life under apartheid. In 1948, when Tutu was 17 years old, the National Party won control of the government and codified the nation's long-present segregation and inequality into the official, rigid policy of apartheid. In 1953, the government passed the Bantu Education Act, a law that lowered the standards of education for black South Africans to ensure that they only learned what was necessary for a life of servitude. The government spent one-tenth as much money on the education of a black student as on the education of a white one, and Tutu's overcrowded classes often included as many as 80 pupils. No longer willing to participate in an educational system explicitly designed to promote inequality, he quit teaching in 1957.
The next year, in 1958, Tutu enrolled at St. Peter's Theological College in Johannesburg. He was ordained as an Anglican deacon in 1960 and as a priest in 1961. In 1962, Tutu left South Africa to pursue further theological studies in London, receiving his master's of theology from King's College in 1966. He then returned from his four years abroad to teach at the Federal Theological Seminary at Alice in the Eastern Cape as well as to serve as the chaplain of the University of Fort Hare. In 1970, Tutu moved to the University of Roma in Lesotho to serve as a lecturer in the department of theology. Two years later, he decided to move back to England to accept his appointment as the associate director of the Theological Education Fund of the World Council of Churches in Kent.
Tutu's rise to international prominence began when he became the first black person to be appointed the Anglican Dean of Johannesburg in 1975. It was in this position that he emerged as one of the most prominent and eloquent voices in the South African anti-apartheid movement. Tutu explained, "I realized that I had been given a platform that was not readily available to many blacks and most of our leaders were either now in chains or in exile. And I said, 'Well, I'm going to use this to seek to try to articulate our aspirations and the anguishes of our people.'"
In 1976, shortly after he was appointed Bishop of Lesotho, further raising his international profile, Tutu wrote a letter to the South African Prime Minister warning him that a failure to quickly redress racial inequality could have dire consequences, but his letter was ignored. Tutu was selected as the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches in 1978, and he continued to use his elevated position in the South African religious hierarchy to advocate for an end to apartheid. "I never doubted that ultimately we were going to be free, because ultimately I knew there was no way in which a lie could prevail over the truth, darkness over light, death over life," he said.
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