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Slideshow: South Africa's "black diamonds" move on up

After decades of apartheid oppression, many South African blacks are joining the middle class.

South Africans picnic beside luxury vehicles in Soweto's Thokoza Park. They hang out in glitzy bars, drive luxury cars, compete for the best homes and shop in upmarket stores — South Africa's black middle class has arrived and experts estimate it probably overtook the white spending group a little more than a year ago. (Antony Kaminju/Reuters)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — South Africa's "black diamonds" are the upwardly mobile blacks who are overcoming decades of apartheid oppression to join the ranks of the country's middle class.