“America’s Voices Against Apartheid” is an initiative of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition, in collaboration with the Howard University Republic of South Africa Project (HURSAP), the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg and other U.S. and South African partners, that analyzes the important and complex involvement of American citizens and organizations in the global anti-apartheid movement.
We will explore the dawning of this longstanding relationship and highlight research into its more genesis which dates back to the 1880s. Indeed, a major part – perhaps the major part of this story – is the political, social and cultural relationship that developed between indigenous South Africans and Americans, particularly African Americans, before the establishment of the apartheid regime. The bonds of solidarity and collaboration grew as each dealt with its respective forms of racial discrimination. Educational, religious and cultural exchanges facilitated the establishment of early ties that bound them together in struggle against injustice in the United States and in South Africa, which would later develop into the inspiration and concrete material support through American political action brought to indigenous South Africans’ struggles for freedom, democracy, and justice.
The project will profile the American people, major activist organizations, and the not-so-ordinary grassroots activists who dared to question and challenge the American government’s official foreign political and economic policy toward South African apartheid in the name of the American people. These individuals and organizations said “NO” to their government’s anti-democratic representations and took it to the streets, college campuses, banks, board rooms and corporate headquarters, the South African Embassy and consulates, the United Nations and the United States government itself and said “NO” to apartheid…. “NO” to oppression…“NO” to murdering and jailing South African freedom fighters…“NO” to the South African military and police state; and challenged multi-racial South Africa to create a new, free and democratic South Africa, while also strengthening our own democracy.
Our aim in telling this incredible story of the indomitable spirit, energy and expansive confederation of the global anti-apartheid movement and the contributions of Americans to it is to fuel the continuing quest for democratic governments and underscore the ongoing work necessary to secure the human rights and dignity to which we all are entitled.
This project is funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Mission to South Africa.
About National African American Drug Policy Coalition (NAADPC)
The National African American Drug Policy Coalition is a unique collaborative initiative of 26 preeminent African American professional organizations united to address the problem of drug abuse in the African American community and strengthen partnerships between the United States and countries in Africa and the African diaspora.
About Howard University Republic of South Africa Project (HURSAP)
The Howard University Republic of South Africa Project was established in 1996 in response to the historic visit of South African President Nelson Mandela to Howard University at which he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree and invited Howard University faculty, students and staff to become involved in the reconstruction of post-apartheid South Africa. Since 1996, HURSPA has led delegations of Howard faculty, students, trustees, and administrators to South Africa to explore potential for collaborative projects with government agencies, universities, and other institutions, including, collaboration with the Embassy of South Africa in Washington, DC, serving as the Secretariat for the USA-ANC Centenary Committee.
About the Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, opened in 2001 and illustrates the rise and fall of apartheid. The Museum is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story. Its exhibits have been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, filmmakers, historians and designers. They include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the horrific period in our history, known as apartheid.
About the U.S. Mission to South Africa – Public Affairs Section
The Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy Pretoria works with the media, cultural and educational institutions, private organizations and other South African organizations to enhance mutual understanding between the people of the United States and South Africa. The Public Affairs Section informs and engages with the South African public through the dissemination of information about the United States, professional and academic exchange programs, cultural performances and exchanges, and youth programs.