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Cinematic, musical, and dance performances will showcase the struggles and triumphs to end apartheid in South Africa

     August 1, 2023

WASHINGTON – A series of performances will enhance the educational experience for visitors at the America’s Voices Against Apartheid exhibition, an exploration of the remarkable contributions made by U.S. citizens to the international movement that dismantled the apartheid system in South Africa that persisted for decades.


Since opening on September 15, thousands of visitors have viewed informative text panels and videos in the Hall of Nations at the Kennedy Center. These works of art tell the story from the late 1800s to Nelson Mandela’s historic election as the first democratically elected President of South Africa in 1994. This U.S. exhibition follows its successful opening in May 2023 at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa.


The exhibition profiles 2020 Kennedy Center Honoree Debbie Allen, singer Harry Belafonte, tennis player Arthur Ashe, and musician Steven Van Zandt. These individuals among other American citizens and organizations challenged the South African apartheid and their own government’s discrimination. They protested in streets, campuses, institutions, and government centers to fight against oppression. 

The American’s Voices Against Apartheid exhibition also emphasizes the contributions of Black churches, Black press, and Black colleges and universities involved in this movement while connecting to contemporary social justice movements in the U.S., South Africa, and the African Diaspora.


In the months of October and November, visitors can further emerge into the experience with three performances at the Kennedy Center:





About America’s Voices Against Apartheid (AVAA): AVAA analyzes American citizens' and organizations' important and complex involvement in the global anti-apartheid movement. The project profiles American people, major activist organizations, and not-so-ordinary grassroots activists who questioned and challenged the American government’s foreign political and economic policy toward South African apartheid. AVAA aims to tell the story of the indomitable spirit, energy, and expansive confederation of the movement and contributions of Americans. A grant from the U.S. Mission to South Africa funds the project. 


AVAA Curatorial Team: Jean Bailey, Ph.D., Alicia Adams, Khephra Burns, Camille Dantzler, Ph.D.,  Tara Hammons, Veronica Jackson, Charles Johnson, Ph.D., Emilia Potenza, Sonja Woods, M.A. 


Exhibit Design: The PRD Group LLC 


AVAA Partners: Howard University Republic of South Africa Project, Apartheid Museum  Johannesburg, U.S. Embassy Pretoria, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Washington,  D.C., National African American Drug Policy Coalition, Sister States of Maryland, Inc.


For more information, visit 

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