Powerful photos from a South African university riot.

They call it a "black tax."

For black South Africans, it means that if you have a job, some of your earnings should go to your struggling family.

It's not a government-instituted fee, but more of a deeply entrenched cultural responsibility set upon young black citizens.


Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images.

This idea of paying it forward is certainly well-meaning, but it can trap young people in a discouraging cycle of poverty. Many are happy to support their families but often have to set aside their personal ambitions to do so.

Black students in South Africa see one opportunity to break out of the vicious cycle of poverty: education.

So when universities announced that tuition fees would continue to rise ... this happened.

Photo by Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images.

This is a protest outside the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, locally referred to as "Wits."

Photo by Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images.

Things turned violent, and after the alleged harassment of university staff members, the police were deployed to the scene, where they used tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades against the protesters.

Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.

Cars were flipped, rocks thrown, fists swung, and at least two students were arrested.

Photo by John Wessels/AFP/Getty Images.

What you're seeing isn't just a riot — it's the result of an economic pressure cooker and decades of systematic oppression.

Less than 30 years ago, South Africa lived under apartheid — a set of laws and systems that kept black South Africans physically separated from whites.

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.

Apartheid ended in the 1990s under Nelson Mandela, but racial tensions and inequities didn't just disappear. In fact, racial economic disparity has grown since the end of apartheid, and black income has nearly flat-lined.

Add to that the notion that education may soon become financially inaccessible to many, and the result is a palpable anger.

Photo by Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images.

Americans know some of this pressure, too, because many young people are buried in student loans, and tens of millions graduate with debt.

In the U.S., students have to lean heavily on government loans to attend college. Then they graduate with, on average, $35,000 in debt and little to no job opportunities. Student debt is the single largest debt in America, and it's still growing.

There's no excuse for violence, but the anger is understandable.

Photo by Marco Longari/AFP/Getty Images.

There have been several proposed solutions to student debt, and it's been one of the many key issues discussed in the 2016 presidential election.

Plans range from forgiving loans to lowering interest rates to even making tuition-free colleges. All of those proposals have pros and cons, but one thing is clear: A college education is now practically necessary for success in our society, and something needs to be done to make it affordable.

A student debt protest in California in 2012. Photo by David McNew/Getty Images.

After that, economic growth needs to continue so the millions of people who graduate college every year have somewhere to take their skills and a feasible economic ladder to climb.

You can only put so much financial burden on young people while simultaneously cutting opportunity before something boils over.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather
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While most 10-year-olds are playing Minecraft, riding bikes, or watching YouTube videos, Justin Sather is intent on saving the planet. And it all started with a frog blanket when he was a baby.

"He carried it everywhere," Justin's mom tells us. "He had frog everything, even a frog-themed birthday party."

In kindergarten, Justin learned that frogs are an indicator species – animals, plants, or microorganisms used to monitor drastic changes in our environment. With nearly one-third of frog species on the verge of extinction due to pollution, pesticides, contaminated water, and habitat destruction, Justin realized that his little amphibian friends had something important to say.

"The frogs are telling us the planet needs our help," says Justin.

While it was his love of frogs that led him to understand how important the species are to our ecosystem, it wasn't until he read the children's book What Do You Do With An Idea by Kobi Yamada that Justin-the-activist was born.

Inspired by the book and with his mother's help, he set out on a mission to raise funds for frog habitats by selling toy frogs in his Los Angeles neighborhood. But it was his frog art which incorporated scientific facts that caught people's attention. Justin's message spread from neighbor to neighbor and through social media; so much so that he was able to raise $2,000 for the non-profit Save The Frogs.

And while many kids might have their 8th birthday party at a laser tag center or a waterslide park, Justin invited his friends to the Ballona wetlands ecological preserve to pick invasive weeds and discuss the harms of plastic pollution.

Justin's determination to save the frogs and help the planet got a massive boost when he met legendary conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall.

Photo courtesy of Justin Sather

At one of her Roots and Shoots youth initiative events, Dr. Goodall was so impressed with Justin's enthusiasm for helping frogs, she challenged the young activist to take it one step further and focus on plastic pollution as well. Justin accepted her challenge and soon after was featured in an issue of Bravery Magazine dedicated to Jane Goodall.

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Our collective childhoods have been forever influenced by the imaginative, heartwarming stories of Roald Dahl. Classics like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and Fantastic Mr. Fox continue to grace bookshelves, movie screens, and even the stages of Broadway.

But today, on what would have been Dahl's 104th birthday, we're going to share one of his lesser known- yet arguably most provocative-works of literature.


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