March 21 – International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

The International Day was adopted by the UN six years after March 21, 1960 – the day police officers in a Black township in South Africa opened fire on a group of people peacefully protesting the oppressive apartheid laws. Sixty‐nine protestors were killed that day.
“Apartheid” is a racist legal system that denied rights and freedoms to anyone who was not considered white. In particular “the pass laws” were used by government to restrict where Black South Africans could work, live and travel.
In South Africa, March 21 is now known as Human Rights Day.
The anniversary of the Sharpeville Massacre, March 21, is remembered around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Citation: Matthew McRae. “The Sharpeville Massacre.” Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Published March 19, 2019. Updated: August 8, 2023