South Afirica New Man in the Townships

New Man in the Townships A black U.S. Ambassador is building bridges to blacks

Midnight had arrived and most of the dinner guests were gone, but on the & terrace of a beige stucco mansion in Johannesburg, a dozen black men and women lingered over coffee and liqueurs, their chairs tightly ringing the table. They spoke with obvious emotion and leaned forward to hear the responses. The focus of their attention, listening more than he talked, was Edward Perkins, the first black U.S. Ambassador to South Africa. For three hours he traded thoughts with civic leaders from Soweto, the black township outside Johannesburg.

President Reagan appointed Perkins last September, and at the time blacks in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!