• Title
    • Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection
    • Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection, 1965-2005 RG 1000.03
  • PublisherCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositoryCollege Archives & Special Collections at Columbia College Chicago
  • OriginationBrock, Lisa
  • Physical Description
    • 28.68 Cubic Feet Thirteen (13) record boxes, one (1) document case, one (1) print box, Sixteen (16) flat files, and one (1) 11 foot tall oversize banner Forms of materials: administrative records; artifacts; brochures; buttons (information artifacts); correspondence; journals (periodicals); magazines (periodicals); newsletters; newspaper clippings; newspapers; personal papers; photographs; political posters; reports; T-shirts; video tapes
    • 20.5 Gigabytes
  • Date1956-2012
  • AbstractThe Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection was assembled through the efforts of Dr. Lisa Brock, a faculty member of Columbia College Chicago and a seminal force in the local anti-apartheid movement. This collection highlights the grassroots organizations during the 1980s and 1990s that formed to protest international issues of apartheid and how they operated to reach a common goal.

Apartheid, the system of government-sponsored racism in South Africa, ended in 1990 with the prohibition against the African National Congress lifted and the release of all political prisoners. In 1994, South Africa held the first democratic elections, voting in Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa and putting his party, the African National Congress, in control. The anti-apartheid struggle was not limited to South Africa; it also included Angola, Namibia, and Mozambique, and the victory of Nelson Mandela paved the way for future stabilization across Southern Africa.

The end of the apartheid system was brought about, in part, by groups of people working locally around the globe who fought apartheid by endorsing economic sanctions and company boycotts. This collection, broadly defined as the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection, is made up of several local groups' records. Chicago held an active role in the anti-apartheid movement, passing sanctions against companies that supported the apartheid government in South Africa, urging the divestment of holdings from South Africa and South African banks, and encouraging other local governments and large cities to do the same. In 1990, Chicago became a Sister Community to Alexandra Township, the largest township of Johannesburg.

The Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection represents the work of such local Chicago-area groups. Each organization cosponsored other organizations' events, speakers, committees, and protests. Examples of local organizational collaboration include Clergy and Laity Concerned, who fought for divestment sanctions against South Africa and organized boycotts against the Kugerrand and Shell Oil, and Synapses, Inc., a non-profit social justice organization that worked to end racism on a global scale and enact legislation on a local scale, with a focus on Southern Africa and Central America.

Lisa Ann Brock, Ph.D. is currently the Academic Director of the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, Michigan. She had served as Chair of the Humanities, History, and Social Sciences Department at Columbia College Chicago when she, with others, established the Chicago Anti -Apartheid Movement collection.

She lived in Mozambique as a Fulbright scholar in the 1980s and successfully merged her academic interest with southern African social justice struggles. Her articles on South Africa, Mozambique, African-Americans, Cuba and Blacks in the diaspora have appeared in journals such as Cuban Studies, Contributions in Black Studies, Issue: A Journal of Opinion, Souls, Peace Review, and Temas: Cultura, Ideologicia, Sociedad and in book collections such as Africa's Media Image. Her book, Between Race and Empire: African-Americans and Cubans Before the Cuban Revolution (Temple University Press), was published in 1998 and her writings are regularly a part of the website: AfroCubaweb.

She has served on the planning committees of the African Studies Association, delivered papers at organizational meetings, and serves on the Editorial Collective of the Radical History Review. She lectures and serves as visiting professor at numerous institutions including the University of New Mexico, Clemson, Columbia University, Oberlin College, and others.

To hear more about Brock's involvement with the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement, listen to her oral history interview conducted by Amanda Anderson.

The Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection dates from 1965 to 2009. The collection strength lies in the files of the grassroots organization that formed to protest an international issue and illustrates how grassroots organizations operated to reach a common goal.

Additionally, the collection consists of organizational and administrative records, brochures and fliers, news and journal articles, correspondence, legislation, published reports and findings, publications, posters, audiovisual material, and artifacts including an 11 ft. x 6 ft. banner. The collection also contains material from individual activists in the Writings and Notes series.

The collection is divided into twelve (12) series:

Series 1: Secondary Sources, 1981-1996 Series 2: Local Anti-Apartheid Organizations, 1977-1995 Series 3: National Anti-Apartheid Organizations, 1990-1995 Series 4: South African Anti-Apartheid Organizations, 1989-1994 Series 5: International Anti-Apartheid Organizations, 1982-1995 Series 6: Events, 1981-1995 Series 7: Conferences, 1983-1993 Series 8: Reports, 1978-1994 Series 9: Writings and Notes, 1985-2000 Series 10: Audiovisual Materials, 1981-1994 Series 11: Artifacts, 1980s-1990s Series 12: Publications, 1978-2000

Materials in Series 1 is arranged alphabetically by subject. Series 2 through 6 are arranged alphabetically by title. When possible, records were arranged chronologically within folders, with administrative records coming first, followed by correspondence, promotional materials, notes, and any news articles or newsletters. Series 7 and 8 are arranged alphabetically by title. Series 9 is arranged alphabetically by last name. Series 10 is arranged alphabetically by creator/title. Series 11 is arranged alphabetically by subject. Series 12 is arranged chronologically by title.

Folder/Item Title, Date(s). Series Title, Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection, College Archives & Special Collections, Columbia College Chicago.

While the entirety of this collection is available for research in person, portions of it have been digitized and made available online including:

Activists' Oral Histories, 2009-2010 | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cadc_caam_oralhistories/ Columbia College Chicago students conducted oral histories during the Spring 2009, Fall 2009, and Spring 2010 semesters for the course, "Oral History: The Art of the Interview" in the Humanities, History & Social Sciences department. This collection includes interviews with members of the Chicago community who participated in local protest organizations against the apartheid movement in Africa.

African Political Posters | http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cadc_caam_posters/ Posters collected by Anti-Apartheid activists, including African National Congress (ANC) posters, Mozambique Film Festival posters, maps, and posters educating about social, economic, and political conditions of countries under apartheid governments.

Educational Poster Boards, 1980s-1990s | http://bit.ly/2uNRhFQ Chicago Anti-Apartheid activist groups created these poster boards on the Chicago-Alexandra Sister Community Project, the freeing of Nelson Mandela from prison, and the efforts of these groups to help educate crowds at Chicagoland events and rallies to protest apartheid.

Explore an online exhibit curating online resources from the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection to educate researchers about apartheid governments and grassroots efforts to fight apartheid.


No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000. Edited by William Minter, Gail Hovey, and Charles Cobb Jr. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2007.

Digitized Posters Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies Northwestern University Library Chicago, Illinois About: The Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University is the largest separate Africana collection in existence. Its scope is as wide as the continent of Africa itself; its subject matter ranges from art, history, literature, music, science, technology and religion to communications, engineering, management and cooking.

Title: Rozell (Prexy) Nesbitt Collection ID: RG 1000.03.01 About: Rozell "Prexy" Nesbitt is an activist and educator who has been highly active in labor, human rights, and equality movements. Nesbitt's personal papers highlight additional anti-apartheid work internationally and includes approximately 200 publications.

Title: Cheryl Johnson-Odim Collection ID: RG 1000.03.02 About: Cheryl Johnson-Odim is an activist and educator. Johnson-Odim's personal papers highlight her time campaigning against apartheid and includes her reference research on apartheid such as United Nations reports, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles.

Title: Orlando Redekopp Collection ID: 1000.03.03 About: Orlando Redekopp is an activist and retired minister in the First Church of the Brethren. Redekopp's personal papers highlight his experience as an Ecumenical election observer for the 1994 South African general election, his work with local and international anti-apartheid and anti-conscription campaigns, and includes approximately 100 publications.

Title: African Activist Database | http://africanactivist.msu.edu/aboutus.php The African Activist Archive Project seeks to preserve for history the record of activities of U.S. organizations and individuals that supported African struggles for freedom and had a significant collective impact on U.S. policy during the period 1950-1994. One of the significant U.S. political movements in second half of the twentieth century, it included community activists, students, faculty, churches, unions, city and county councils, state governments, and others. This democratization of foreign policy was unprecedented and it is important that the lessons learned be documented for the benefit of ongoing social justice activism.

The entirety of the Chicago Anti-Apartheid Movement Collection is avaialbe to all users.

Materials are the property of Columbia College Chicago. Intellectual property rights of work belong to the original creators. Materials within the collection that are published and copyrighted maintain their copyright protections and must be used according to United States Copyright Law. Video rights belong to Michael Elliott, creator. Copyright for DVDs retained by Labor Beat, creator. Photos of Nelson Mandela at Plumber's Hall copyright Steve Dahlber.

Use of this collection and its materials is understood to be primarily for research, teaching, and creative study; additional uses, such as publication, exhibition, or other appropriate purposes may be considered upon consultation with the Archivist.

All physical materials and reformatted media must be viewed during a scheduled appointment time within the College Archives & Special Collections office. No materials are to be circulated unless otherwise consulted with the Archivist.

Due to its size, an eleven foot Soweto Day banner is in storage. Images of the banner are available during appointments. Special advance request must be made to and approved by the Archivist to see the physical banner during an appointment.

Access to some audiovisual media in the collection, such as VHS, audiocassette, or phonographic record, may be temporarily unavailable pending digital reformatting.

Researchers viewing digitized, online material (http://digitalcommons.colum.edu/cadc_caam/_ from this collection may access these materials from home via the World Wide Web 24/7.

Access to reformatted media in the collection, such as VHS, audiocassette, phonographic records, or computer files, must be viewed within the College Archives & Special Collections office during a scheduled appointment. A computer and other necessary equipment will be provided during the appointment.

Lisa Brock and activist organization members including: Lisa January; Michael Elliott; Basil Clunie; Prexy Nesbitt; Steve Dalber; Kay Burnett; Rachel Rubin; Anne Evens; Joan Gerig; Carol Thompson; Njoki Kamali; Alice Palmer; Mary Scott-Boria; Josephine Wyatt; Larry Duncan. All material was donated as gift in 2009.

Additional DVDs donated by Labor Beat. Six photos donated by Steve Dalber. Erin McCarthy, Ph.D. and Art of the Interview: Oral History students for oral histories capture, 2009-2010

  • Subject
    • Anti-apartheid activists
    • Apartheid
    • Apartheid -- South Africa
    • Apartheid -- South Africa -- History
    • Community Organization -- Illinois -- Chicago
  • Geographic CoverageChicago (Ill.)
  • Names
    • Brock, Lisa
    • January, Lisa (Lisa January)
    • Elliott, Michael (Mike Elliott)
    • Clunie, Basil (Basil Clunie)
    • Nesbitt, Rozell (Prexy)
    • Dalber, Steve
    • Burnett, Kay
    • Rubin, Rachel
    • Evens, Anne
    • Gerig, Joan
    • Thompson, Carol
    • Kamau, Njoki
    • Palmer, Alice
    • Scott-Boria, Mary
    • Wyatt, Josephine
    • Duncan, Larry