Northern Rhodesia, where blacks outnumber whites 31 to 1, has long been a bastion of rampant white supremacy among Britain's African territories. For years African shoppers were not even allowed in stores, had to be served through hatchways in the wall. But encouraged by Britain's Colonial Office, the protectorate last month promulgated a new law forbidding racial discrimination in hotel dining rooms, restaurants, cafés and movie houses.

At first all the worst fears of pessimists seemed justified. In the copper-belt city of Kitwe, Northern Rhodesia's largest (pop. 78,300), angry white mobs swirled through the streets, shrieking curses and obscenities. One...

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