The following paper was prepared for a conference “International Anti-Apartheid Movements in South Africa’s Freedom Struggle: Lessons for Today” held in Durban, South Africa, 10-13 October 2004.

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A Decade of Freedom: Celebrating the Role of the

International Anti-Apartheid Movement in South Africa’s Freedom Struggle

University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville Campus

Durban, South Africa, October 10 – 13, 2004


Documenting the U.S. Solidarity Movement –

With reflections on the sanctions and divestment campaigns

By Richard Knight

Project Director

African Activist Archive Project



“As someone who was active in the struggle against apartheid inside South Africa and later for two decades in the U.S., I believe it is extremely important that the history of the solidarity movement be documented.”

Dumisani S. Kumalo, South African Ambassador to the UN, letter to David Wiley, 20 December 2002.



Overview of the U.S. Movement


The U.S. anti-apartheid movement, part of a broader movement in support of African struggles against colonialism and for self-determination and democracy, played an important part in the world-wide solidarity movement with the liberation struggle inside South Africa. 


As a background to current efforts to preserve the history of the U.S. anti-apartheid movement it is important to understand its origin and structure.  Significant solidarity was sparked in the early 1950s in support of the Campaign of Defiance of Unjust Laws initiated by the African National Congress (ANC).[1]  It led to the founding of the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) which played a major role in the U.S. anti-apartheid movement.[2]  Many of the founders of ACOA were involved in the U.S. civil rights movement and this connection between the U.S. struggle and the solidarity movement remained an important feature of U.S. anti-apartheid activities.[3]


A major challenge to documenting the record of this activity is the diversity of the U.S. movement.  There were hundreds of organization and numerous individuals involved over a long period of time.  Most of these groups were local – operating in one city or state or within one institution such as a college or church.[4]  These groups were independent of, but often worked closely with, national organizations such as ACOA and TransAfrica.[5]  There were engaged student, religious, human rights and community organizations in virtually every state and city in the country.  Some groups were exclusively African-American, others were ethnically mixed.  Some organizations were specifically formed with an African-related agenda; others already existed and took up the cause of African self-determination.  Frequently these organizations formed coalitions to achieve a particular goal such as the adoption of a divestment policy by a particular state, city or institution.  These organizations produced newsletters, pamphlets, leaflets, policy papers, meeting minutes, strategy papers, correspondence and other material including posters, photos and videos.  Many were ad hoc in nature and no longer exist, but individuals associated with those groups preserved vital records. 


The U.S. anti-apartheid movement responded to the South African liberation movements’ call to isolate South Africa.[6]  U.S. groups focused on a broad range of campaigns in support of the economic, sports and cultural boycott, against forced removals, detentions and the execution of freedom fighters.[7] 


Sanctions and Divestment

By the 1970s a major focus was on economic links – especially U.S. banks making loans to and companies doing business in apartheid South Africa.  For decades apartheid South Africa relied on transnational corporations for capital and technology.[8]  Activists seeking to stop corporate collaboration with apartheid, finding the way blocked in Washington, developed other strategies for exerting pressure on the corporations.[9]  One major focus of this effort was the divestment campaign, aimed at moving individuals and institutions to sell their holdings in companies doing business in South Africa.  The goal of the divestment campaign was to get companies to disinvest from South Africa.[10]  There were campaigns against specific companies, especially those seen as especially important including Chase Manhattan, Citibank and Manufacturers Hanover (major lenders to South Africa), Mobil and Shell (which sold petroleum products to the police and military), Ford and General Motors[11] (which sold vehicles to the police and military) and IBM and Control Data (which sold/leased computers to the government including the military and prisons).[12]  There were also active and effective campaigns against sales of the Krugerrand gold coin.[13]


Based on my own experience, let me give you three examples of areas where ACOA and other organizations worked closely to achieve significant victories.


College & University Divestment Campaign:  Following the Soweto uprising in 1976, student activity on college and university campuses increased dramatically.  Almost every college had one or more organization.  Their activities were very public and had an important impact.  Students engaged in numerous types of protest such as occupying administrative offices, sit-ins and building shanties – replicas of South African squatter camps.  ACOA speakers talked on colleges across the U.S. and in 1979 ACOA started publishing Student Anti-Apartheid Newsletter which reported on the activities on various campuses.  ACOA held numerous student conferences and coordinated a series of weeks of action from March 21 (Sharpeville Day) to April 4 (the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.).  ACOA also played an important role talking students though issues such as how to respond to the Sullivan Principles.[14]  Student protests surged again after 1984 and the number of colleges and universities at least partially divesting jumped from 53 prior to April 1985 to 128 by February 1987 to 155 by August 1988. There were independent anti-apartheid committees/organizations at most of these campuses.


Bank Campaign:  In 1966 ACOA and the University Christian Movement initiated the Committee of Conscience Against Apartheid to oppose a $40 million revolving credit by a consortium of ten U.S. banks to the South African government.  Churches and community groups joined the campaign.  Some $23 million was withdrawn from the from the U.S. banks involved.  The campaign continued until the credit was terminated in 1969.[15]  Again in 1973 ACOA and churches put together a campaign when it came to light that through the European-American Banking Corporation (EABC) forty banks, including 11 from the U.S., made $70 million in loans to the South African government.  After protests in the U.S. and Europe EABC wrote “under the present circumstances we have decided not to grant any credits to South Africa other than those for the financing of current trade.” [16]  In 1977, ACOA and Clergy and Laity Concerned initiated the Committee to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa (COBLSA). The campaign was sparked when U.S. bank lending to South Africa jumped to $1.8 billion in 1975 from just under $l billion in 1974.[17]  COBLSA built a broad based membership among labor, church and community organizations.  As a result many local organizations took up the issue of loans, focusing on the banks in their area.  Within a few months nearly 50 were involved. [18]  Prexy Nesbitt and later Dumisani Kumalo on the ACOA staff served as national coordinator of the campaign.  As coordinator their role was to maintain contact with the numerous organizations and individuals involved, share information, help develop strategy, publish newsletters and brochures and speak at venues across the country.  In December 1984, Seafirst adopted a policy of no new loans to South Africa, followed by the Bank of Boston in March 1985 and First Bank System, also in 1985.  Even more significantly, in July 1985, North Carolina National Bank Corp., the regional bank with the largest lending to South Africa and the only regional bank to have an office in South Africa, ended all new loans.  Then in late July 1985 Chase Manhattan told its customers that it would not renew its loans.[19] On September 1, faced with massive capital outflows the apartheid government was forced to declare a debt standstill.[20]


State and Municipal Government “People’s Sanctions”:  The campaign to get state and municipal governments to take action against companies doing business in South Africa built on and overlapped with the student and bank campaigns.[21]  The three major types of action taken by states and cities involved were: 1) withdrawal of deposits and other business from banks making loans to South Africa 2) divestment of public pension funds from companies doing business in South Africa and 3) selective purchasing whereby the companies not doing business in South Africa were given preference in the bidding process for the purchase of goods and services.[22]  In June 1981 ACOA held the first Conference on Public Investment and South Africa[23] that brought together state and municipal legislators, anti-apartheid activists, community organizers and trade unionists[24] to jointly work together in support of legislation that would stop public funds from being invested in banks and corporations doing business in South Africa.[25]  Divestment from South Africa was linked to responsible investment in the U.S.  Julian Bond, then a Georgia State Senator, gave the keynote address.[26]  Forty legislators from 14 states attended.  At this time only one state – Nebraska – had adopted any anti-apartheid legislation.[27]  A network of concerned legislators and anti-apartheid activists grew out of this conference.  In April 1983 ACOA organized a second conference in Boston after Massachusetts became the first state to totally divest; Connecticut had partially divested the previous year.[28]  ACOA’s Project Director Dumisani Kumalo, who organized the two conferences, played a central role in building the broad alliance which led states and cities to adopted anti-apartheid policies, traveling, speaking widely and meeting with local activists.[29]  ACOA Executive Director Jennifer Davis[30] and other staff testified before state legislatures, city councils and organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures and the National Black Caucus of State Legislators.[31]  ACOA’s Public Investment and South Africa newsletter was mailed out to 600 people including local activists and hundreds of state legislators and city councilors.  The success of the campaign rested on the work of hundreds of local groups.  It often took years of organizing to get the legislation passed.  And even the most committed state legislator or city councilor could not have taken action without strong support from their constituents.[32]  By 1991, 28 states, 24 counties, 92 cities and the Virgin Islands had adopted legislation or policies imposing some form of sanctions on South Africa.[33]


Capital fight from South Africa

Undoubtedly the greatest challenge to white minority rule came from the explosion of political resistance which followed Pretoria's introduction of a new constitution in 1983 with a complex set of segregated parliaments.[34]  In a total rejection of apartheid, black South Africans mobilized to make the townships ungovernable, black local officials resigned in droves, and the apartheid regime sent thousands of troops into the townships to quell “unrest.” 


By mid-1984 massive protests inside South Africa combined with escalating pressure internationally to force substantial capital flight and challenge the continuation of white minority rule.  On July 20, 1985 President P.W. Botha imposed a State of Emergency, giving the police and military even greater repressive powers.  Any hopes U.S. corporate executives might have had that P.W. Botha was a closet reformer and that apartheid would quietly wither away were dashed.  Later that month Chase Manhattan told its customers it would not roll over their loans.[35]  On August 15, Botha made his famous Rubicon speech rejecting negotiations and the possibility of one person-one vote in a unitary state.  On September 1, faced by the prospect of massive capital flight, the South African government imposed a debt standstill and re-imposed exchange controls. On September 9, in order to forestall stronger action by Congress, Reagan issued an executive order containing some sanctions.[36]


The situation on the ground in South Africa and the local activity in the U.S. helped generate the thrust for a victory in 1986 when passage of the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act (CAAA) was won over the veto of President Reagan.[37]  What was remarkable about the veto override is that it required a two-thirds vote by both houses of Congress and at the time the Republican Party controlled the Senate.[38]  The Senate vote on October 2 was 78 to 21 and the House a week earlier had been 313 to 83.[39]  Virtually every member of Congress felt pressure from their home districts to do something about apartheid and cities and colleges in their districts were divesting.  The Reagan policy of “constructive engagement” gave no political cover to Republicans once their constituents had been mobilized to challenge U.S. support for apartheid.[40]


The passage of the CAAA represented the defeat of the Reagan policy of constructive engagement.  By the time the CAAA became law banks had already stopped making loans to South Africa and companies were already disinvesting; the act encouraged this trend as well as imposing new restrictions on trade.  Within less than three weeks after the veto override International Business Machines (IBM) and General Motors (GM) announced they were withdrawing from South Africa.[41] 


Many companies that disinvested from South Africa continued to do business in the country.  For example, GM cars were made under license and IBM computers were sold by a distributor.  As a result in January 1987 five national anti-apartheid organizations issued Guidelines for Divestment which stated that when companies withdrew from South Africa they should sever non-equity ties such as licensing and franchising agreements.  The organizations were ACOA, the American Friends Service Committee, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, TransAfrica and the Washington Office on Africa.  The Guidelines were subsequently endorsed by a number of leading union and religious leaders.[42]


More federal legislation was to come.  In December 1987 Congress passed a tax bill that included an amendment introduced by Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) eliminating the ability of U.S. companies to claim tax credits in the U.S. for taxes paid in South Africa.  In the period 1980-1983, U.S. corporations paid well over half a billion into Apartheid’s treasury.  The Rangel amendment effectively imposed double taxation on U.S. corporate activities in South Africa.[43]


By the end of 1987 more that 200 U.S. companies had withdrawn from South Africa.  Net capital movement out of South Africa was R9.2 billion in 1985, R6.1 billion in 1986, R3.1 billion in 1987 and R5.5 billion in 1988. 


In 1990 Nelson Mandela was released from prison and the ANC and other organizations unbanned.  Following extended negotiations, the government agreed to an interim government until democratic elections.  On September 24, 1993 Nelson Mandela called for the lifting of economic sanctions.  That same day over 40 U.S. anti-apartheid leaders issued a statement that read “Today those of us who have worked long and hard to end apartheid are pleased to be able to join Nelson Mandela, the African National Congress, the trade unions and the democratic movement in calling for an end to economic sanctions.  This will not bring an end to our concern for the people of South Africa.  Apartheid will leave a terrible and bitter legacy of inequality, injustice and poverty.  We believe that Americans can contribute to overcoming that legacy.  As sanctions are lifted we will urge corporations to uphold the standards set by the democratic forces in South Africa for socially responsible investment that will promote equal opportunity, workers’ rights, environmental protection and community development.”[44]



Documenting the record and activities of the U.S. movement


The U.S. anti-apartheid movement involved hundreds of diverse organizations and numerous individuals.  The movement had a significant impact both on U.S. corporate involvement with apartheid South Africa and on U.S. policy.  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.  There are three efforts underway that I will discuss here: the African Activist Archive Project, No Easy Victories and Aluka.  None of these complementary efforts is focused solely on South Africa.  


African Activist Archive Project

The African Activist Archive Project ( of the African Studies Center at Michigan State University is working to preserve for history the record of activities of U.S. organizations and individuals that supported African struggles for freedom and had significant collective impact on U.S. policy during the period 1950-1994.  The project’s website has been activated and will be enhanced over the coming year. It is already an important source for scholars in the U.S. and Africa.


The website includes the Directory of African Activist Archives which aims to list all collections of individuals and organizations involved in the solidarity movement that are already in a depositry institution.  The material is widely distributed and no other central listing exists.  The Directory includes a description of each collection including activities and achivements of the organization and individual as well as location and contact information to access the collection.  The Directory will grow as we arrange for more collections to be placed in an archive, and include an international section for the archives of non-U.S. solidarity organizations.


A major challege for the project is identifying and locating the individuals and organizations with material in states and cities across the U.S.  There were hundreds of solidarity orgranizations that no longer exist.  Approaches will be made to local activists, community, religious, human rights and union leaders and state and municipal officials who were involved.  The participation of these individuals and organizations will be crucial to the success of the project.  A particular challege is student groups.  Many have personal collections.  As one person told me “I do have a lot of information sitting in my garage.  Periodically I'd think about dumping it, but then I'd go ‘no way...’”  To help us locate these people there are a series of online questionnaires on the project web site. 


Once we have located people the next challenge is to get any material they have placed into an archive.  We have already arranged for a number of important collections to be placed in a permanent archive.  Most of these have been placed in the newly inaugurated African Activist Archive at Michigan State University Library which was established as a direct result of this project.  It now includes the records of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars, the Boston Coalition for the Liberation of Southern Africa and the South Africa archives of John Harrington (a California activist).  We also helped place material of the Champaign-Urbana Coalition Against Apartheid in the library of the University of Illinois.  A number of groups and individuals with whom we have been in touch such as the New York Labor Committee Against Apartheid and Educators Against Racism and Apartheid are now preparing their archives with our assistance.


The project is planning a series of historical remembrances by Africa activists of their activities and achievements which will be placed on the project’s website.  This will provide the activists themselves with a voice to explain how they operated and what they achieved.  It will also allow for a record of the activities of individuals and organizations who do not have any archival material.  A few have already been posted on the website.  The project will also seek to conduct interviews with those who were involved.  We plan to add audio material to the website – a series of interviews conducted in South Africa in 1954 by George M. Houser, a founder and long-time director of ACOA, with leaders such as Chief Albert Luthuli, Walter Sisulu, Manilal Gandhi, and Prof. Z.K. Matthews.[45]


The African Activist Archive Project is working to digitalize and post on the web key historical documents that were produced by solidarity organizations such as newsletters and publications.  We are currently discussing with Aluka digitalizing all issues of Southern Africa magazine and the southern Africa-related publications and ephemera of the ACOA and The Africa Fund.[46]  These documents will be placed on both the Aluka and African Activist Archive Project websites.  We also have permission to digitalize the newsletters of several local anti-apartheid organizations.


No Easy Victories

No Easy Victories is a project of Solidarity Research and Writing ( which developed initially as part of an effort to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Committee on Africa in 2003.[47] The project is working on a book with the working title No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000.[48]  This book is intended to provide an inside view of the global movement that achieved its most dramatic victory with the fall of apartheid in South Africa.  Work on this book began in 2003, under the auspices of Africa Action, in which ACOA had been merged. It will not be an organizational history but will place ACOA and related organizations in the context of a multi-faceted movement of solidarity with Africa.  The book will include five chapters, roughly corresponding to the last five decades of the twentieth century, drawing on personal accounts of the period, from a diverse set of people involved at the national and local levels. The book editors are Charles Cobb Jr., Gail Hovey and William Minter; projected chapter authors are Lisa Brock, Mimi Edmunds, Joseph Jordan, David Goodman, and Walter Turner. All of those involved in the project have themselves been part of this activist history


In the process of preparing this book a number of interviews with U.S. activists have been conducted.  Solidarity Research plans to make some of these interviews available on the web in the first half of 2005, and they are also expected to be included in the Aluka project archive on Struggles for Freedom in Southern Africa.  A number of interviews have already been conducted.  William Minter, who is Managing Editor of Solidarity Research, is here at the conference.



Aluka ( is working “to build and support a sustainable, online database of scholarly resources from the developing world, beginning in Africa, with content that is important for research and teaching both in the countries of the region and in the worldwide scholarly community.”[49]  They chose the name Aluka - in Zulu “to weave” – to reflect their mission to digitally aggregate scholarly content from around the world.  Aluka also means, in the languages of northern Namibia “to return” or “to repatriate”, reflecting the goal of making diverse material available to its place of origin.


By digitalizing content and making it available on the web it is seeking to both preserve material and make it easily and widely available – especially in the developing world which is the focus of its work.  The Aluka online database will be for non-commercial, educational purposes, primarily in higher education, including research and teaching at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  The digital database will be available on the web through academic, governmental and public institutions throughout the world. Aluka, which is affiliated with JSTOR and ARTstor, uses the JSTOR model in which access is limited to institutions which subscribe and pay an annual fee. [50]  As a nonprofit organization, the fees are intended to help offset the costs of providing access to the content so that the database can be sustainable over the long run.  However, Aluka plans to make the material available related to a particular region in the developing world free though institutions in that region. Thus the material that relates to the liberation struggles in southern Africa will be free in southern Africa 


The first regional focus of Aluka is Africa and one of its three topic areas (or “content clusters”) is the struggles for freedom in southern Africa - initially in Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.[51]  Aluka will not just focus on periodicals.  It will digitalize historical documents, periodicals, personal papers of important historical figures, oral histories, photographs, and other visual materials.  Aluka plans to add material from collections in North America and Europe.  As noted above, this will include documents produced by U.S. solidarity organizations.  It is currently projected that the Aluka website will go online by the end of 2005 or early 2006.


A regional partner of Aluka is Digital Imaging South Africa (DISA) (  DISA has already placed many anti-apartheid periodicals produced by South African organizations on the web.




U.S. solidarity organizations in states and cities across the U.S. played an important role in supporting the South African liberation struggle.  The strength of the movement was the support and involvement of a broad range individuals, institutions and organizations, who in many cases saw direct connections between their own struggles for justice in the U.S. and the struggle in South Africa.  By the mid-1980s, these local civil society organizations were affecting U.S. foreign policy at a level unseen since the movement against the war in Vietnam.


The impact of all this activity is now widely acknowledged.  South Africa’s athletes were blocked from participating in events in the U.S., and U.S. artists stopped performing in South Africa.  States, cities, colleges, churches and others adopted “people’s sanctions” – divesting from companies doing business in South Africa and boycotting banks making loans to South Africa.  After decades of effort the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act and other federal sanctions were adopted.  More than 200 U.S. companies withdrew from South Africa and Namibia.  The Reagan policy of “constructive engagement” was discredited; and the struggle for freedom significantly advanced. 


One cannot get an accurate picture of the movement by only reading the archives of the New York Times.  When Nelson Mandela was released you suddenly had many people claiming credit for the achievement of the U.S. anti-apartheid movement.


Today, many young people in the U.S. have heard of the anti-apartheid struggle.  But few know anything about the apartheid system or the liberation movement.  Neither do they know the role of transnational corporations in supporting apartheid or have any picture of the dynamism with which the international anti-apartheid movement supported South Africa’s freedom struggle.  The three complementary projects outlined in this paper are working to ensure that the history of the U.S. movement is recorded and preserved.


Authors Note

This paper is based in part on the authors own participation in anti-apartheid activities and his previous writings and the publications of ACOA and The Africa Fund.  Much of this relates to the work of ACOA.  I am grateful to Jennifer Davis, both for her research and writings over many years and for her comments on a draft of this paper.  In 2001 ACOA, The Africa Fund (based in New York City) and the Africa Policy Information Center (based in Washington, DC) merged to form Africa Action (


About Richard Knight

Richard Knight is a New York City-based consultant and director of the African Activist Archive Project (  From 1975 until 2001, Richard Knight worked at the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and its associate, The Africa Fund and participated in numerous anti-apartheid campaigns.  He served as primary assistant to Projects Director Dumisani Kumalo, now South African Ambassador to the UN, on the program for state and municipal divestment.  His personal web site, which contains historical and current information, is


Richard Knight

Project Director

African Activist Archive Project

521 West 122nd Street, Suite 61

New York, NY 10027 USA

(212) 663-5989

Fax: (212) 280-2442



Copyright 2004 Richard Knight

[1] There was awareness and solidarity activity prior to 1952.  The Council on African Affairs was founded in 1937 by a group of African Americans including Paul Robeson and Max Yergan. Until the early 1950s it played a leading role in providing information about and lobbying for African struggles in the U.S., with participation of figures such as W. E. B. Du Bois.  Du Bois wrote a number of articles on South Africa for a newspaper in Harlem called People’s Voice, including a column dated 14 October 1947 where he described South Africa as “this medieval, slave-ridden oligarchy” which is ludicrously “placed in the front ranks of the ‘democracies’ of the world” and in 20 December 1947 he denounced “the racist, anti-democratic and intensely exploitative situation” in South Africa.  The Council raised funds for the Defiance Campaign and had correspondence with the ANC including Oliver Tambo.  In the McCarthy period the Council succumbed to government repression and internal dissension, eventually dissolving in 1955.  See “Black American Radicals and the Liberation of Africa: The Council on African Affairs, 1937-1955” by Hollis R. Lynch (Ithaca: Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, 1978); the ANC website at; and the Directory of African Activist Archives at

[2] The Defiance Campaign led to the formation in 1952 of the ad hoc Americans for South African Resistance (AFSAR).  In early 1952, learning about the then forthcoming Defiance Campaign from Bill Sutherland, George Houser, then executive secretary of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), initiated correspondence with Walter M. Sisulu, the Secretary General of the African National Congress, and Yusuf A. Cachalia, Secretary-General of the South African Indian Congress.  AFSAR published a newsletter, held a meeting attended by 800 at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem where Adam Clayton Powell was minister followed by a motorcade of cars with protest banners floating alongside from Harlem down to the South African Consulate and raised about $5,000 for the ANC.  In 1953, following the end of the Defiance Campaign, AFSAR met and decided to form an organization supporting the whole anti-colonial struggle in Africa and the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) was born.  ACOA kept its focus on supporting the liberation struggle and developed strong ties to movements across the continent.  For information on AFSAR and ACOA see No One Can Stop the Rain: Glimpses of Africa’s Liberation Struggle by George M. Houser (New York, NY: The Pilgrim Press, 1989); American Supporters of the Defiance Campaign by George M. Houser available at; and The Struggle Never Ends  by George Houser available at

[3] George M. Houser, a founder of ACOA and Executive Director from 1954-1981 was active in the U.S. civil rights movement.  He was a founder and executive secretary for ten years of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and in 1947 was an organizer of the first freedom ride, the Journey of Reconciliation.  Martin Luther King Jr., a member of the National Committee of ACOA, was involved in a number of ACOA sponsored anti-apartheid efforts.  He served as national vice-chair of the “Declaration of Conscience Campaign” in 1957, was co-chair with Chief Albert Luthuli of the 1962 campaign “An Appeal for Action Against Apartheid” and was the principle speaker at a Human Rights Day rally on December 10, 1965.  The Appeal for Action included a call not to buy South African products or trade or invest in South Africa.  In the 1980s Dr. Wyatt Tee Walker, who had been King’s Chief of Staff, joined the board of ACOA.  A number of other ACOA board members were active in the civil rights movement.

[4] U.S. churches and religious bodies played an important part in the anti-apartheid movement, including meeting with and putting pressure on U.S. companies doing business with and banks making loans to South Africa.  There were campaigns within churches in support of divestment.  As Jennifer Davis notes: “Often church activists struggled year after year to get their own pension boards to divest.  Sometimes churches chose rather to retain their stock and use it to exert pressure on the companies via shareholder resolutions.  By the early eighties, however, major Protestant denominations had voted to withdraw funds from banks and do no business with corporations operating in South Africa.” See “Sanctions and Apartheid: The Economic Challenge to Discrimination” by Jennifer Davis, Economic Sanctions: Panacea or Peacebuilding in a Post-Cold War World? Eds. David Cortright and George A. Lopez, (Boulder: Westview Press, 1995)

[5] TransAfrica was founded in July 1977 as an African American lobby on Africa and the Caribbean.  For many years Randall Robinson, a dynamic public speaker, was the executive director.  On November 21, 1984 Robinson, Congressional delegate Walter Fauntroy, and Civil Rights Commissioner Mary Frances Berry were arrested at a sit-in the office of South African Ambassador Fourie in Washington, D.C.  Similar efforts followed at demonstrations outside South African embassies and consulates organized by what became the Free South Africa Movement.  By the end of 1985 more than 3,000 had been arrested in these protests.  TransAfrica worked closely with the Congressional Black Caucus, which had been involved in its founding, in devising legislative strategy for the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986.

[6]  In 1959 ANC President Chief Albert Luthuli urged the international community to impose sanctions on South Africa arguing that “[t]he economic boycott of South Africa will entail hardship for Africans.  We do not doubt that.  But if it is a method which shortens the day of bloodshed, the suffering to us will be a price we are willing to pay.”  In 1964 Luthuli said “I appeal to those two powerful countries [Britain and the United States] to take decisive action for full scale sanctions that would precipitate the end of the hateful system of apartheid.” See Questions and Answers on Divestment (New York: The Africa Fund, 87) and U.S. Business in South Africa: “Voices for Withdrawal” (New York: The Africa Fund, 1980).

[7] ACOA long focused on U.S. economic links to apartheid. For  example see South African Crisis and United States Policy by Collin Gonze, George M. Houser and Perry Sturges (New York: American Committee on Africa, 1962).  The pamphlet includes and overview of U.S. economic involvement and recommendations included economic sanctions, discouragement of private American loans and investment, no military aid, and no joint military maneuvers or use of the South African shores or seas off the South African coast. See also “United States Economic Involvement in South Africa” by Richard Thomas, (typescript) (New York: American Committee on Africa, 1966).

[8] The South African economy was developed with foreign capital.  In the late 19th century foreign capital, mostly from Britain and other European countries, flowed to the diamond and gold mines.  U.S. investment came after World War II. U.S. direct investment was concentrated in key industries such the petroleum, motor, electronic and computer industries.  The reliance on foreign technology and the impact of possible sanctions was discussed in a cable from the U.S. Embassy in Pretoria to the U.S. Secretary of State in October 1978 that noted “A grave problem would be the supply of spares for existing high technology equipment” and that “there is no possibility all replacement parts for imported goods which keep the economy going (‘even office elevators’) can be locally produced.”  The cable was obtained by the American Friends Service Committee.  See Automating Apartheid: U.S. Computer Exports to South Africa and the Arms Embargo (Philadelphia: NARMIC/American Friends Service Committee, 1982).  For more on U.S. corporate collaboration with apartheid see

[9] For many years the only federal sanctions imposed on South Africa was the arms embargo.  In August 1963 the UN Security Council adopted a voluntary arms embargo covering “ammunition and all types of military vehicles.” It extended the embargo in December to include “equipment and materials for the manufacture and maintenance of arms and ammunition.”  The U.S., which imposed it own arms embargo in August, voted in favor of these measures.  The U.S. did not vote for or implement a 1970 extension to cover “all vehicles and equipment for use by the armed forces.” As a result these measures did not prevent Ford and GM from selling vehicles or IBM from selling computers to the police and military with export licenses issued by the Department of Commerce.  In January 1977 Jimmy Carter became president and named Andrew Young, who had been a lieutenant to Martin Luther King, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations.  Carter was more responsive than his predecessors to pressure from anti-apartheid activists and from members of his own party in Congress who supported sanctions, including the Congressional Black Caucus.  The vast majority of African Americans had voted for Carter.  As a result, after years of vetoes, the U.S. voted in favor of the November 1977 UN Security Council resolution imposing a mandatory arms embargo.  The regulations implementing the embargo, issued in February 1978, banned the export of any item which the exporter knew or has reason to know would be sold to or used by the South African police or military.  Reagan became president in 1981and on March 1, 1982 new regulations were issued significantly relaxing controls on exports to the police and military.  In July 1985 Congress overruled Reagan and reinstated the 1978 regulations.  Even the 1978 regulations did not end sales by U.S. companies to the police and military.  Oil companies such as Mobil claimed the petroleum products they sold to the police and military were not exported from the U.S. and were thus was not covered by the regulations.  GM and Ford also continued sales claiming the vehicles sold for use by the police and military did not include U.S. parts or technology.  See Automating Apartheid, op. cit.; “International Business Machines and Apartheid” by Richard Knight, Covert Action Quarterly, Number 76, Spring 2004; and U.S. Computers in South Africa by Richard Knight (New York: The Africa Fund, 1986). 

[10] Divestment was the process of individual or institutional investors selling their stock in companies doing business in South Africa, generally those with direct investment (subsidiaries) or making loans.  Disinvestment was the process of companies selling or closing their South African subsidiaries.

[11] In 1978 ACOA obtained two internal GM documents, both written in 1977, outlining the company’s contingency plans “in the event of civil unrest.”  One document noted that the company maintained “close liaison with Civil Defense authorities.”  The documents also indicated that the GM facilities were designated “Key Points” although the company later denied it.  Under the heading “Related Assumptions” GM stated “It is assumed that almost 100% of White employment at GMSA would not be party to creating or stimulating civil unrest and that the population groups would be African and Coloured.”  One document noted GM had been asked to supply vehicles for “defense force purposes” and that refusal to do so “might be interpreted as reflecting doubt on the motives of the Company.” Such an interpretation “could lead to direct loss of other government business and seriously affect GM South African’s share of the vehicle market and very likely threaten its viability.”  See General Motors in South Africa: Secret Contingency Plans “in the event of civil unrest” by Jennifer Davis (New York: The Africa Fund, May 1978)

[12] An early successful campaign was against Polaroid.  The company did not have a subsidiary in South Africa but sold its products, including its I.D system, through the distributor Frank and Hirsch.  In 1970 two African American Polaroid workers, Ken Williams and Caroline Hunter, established the Polaroid Revolutionary Workers Movement that demanded that the company end all sales to South Africa.  The company responded by sending a delegation to South Africa that recommended what became the “Polaroid Experiment.”  The company banned all sales to government, including the military and police, and promised to raise wages and increase job training.  The plan was announced in the U.S. in full page advertisements in major daily newspapers and twenty black weekly papers.  The plan did not pacify the workers and in 1971 Hunter lost her job because of her advocacy of a boycott of Polaroid products.  In 1976 ACOA Associate Director Paul Irish met ANC activist Indres Naidoo at Mozambique’s Independence celebration.  Naidoo, who had served time on Robben Island and was then working at Frank & Hirsch, gave Irish a copy of a delivery slip showing that Polaroid film was being sent to the South African government for use in the “passbook” in violation of Polaroid’s policy.  In 1977, after Naidoo went into exile, Irish gave copies of the document to Polaroid and released it to the press.  As a result, Polaroid ended its relationship with its distributor and all direct sales to South Africa. See No One Can Stop the Rain, op. cit.; “Statement on Polaroid’s Withdrawal from South Africa,” American Committee on Africa, November 22, 1977; and Loosing the Bonds: The United States and South Africa in the Apartheid Years by Robert Kinloch Massie (New York: Doubleday, 1997).

[13]  In 1977 ACOA and other organizations launched a campaign against the department store Abraham & Strauss (A&S) which was selling the Krugerrand, leafleting outside the store.  WLIB, a black radio station, urged its listeners not to buy the coin.  A&S soon agreed to stop selling the Krugerrand.  Similar campaigns were held across the U.S. and many outlets stop selling the gold coin.  See ACOA Action News, July/August 1977 (New York: American Committee on Africa).

[14] The Sullivan Principles were an employment code of conduct for U.S. companies doing business in South Africa.  They were drafted by Reverend Leon Sullivan, a member of the board of General Motors.  There were twelve original signatory companies which grew to 127 by June 1987.  The U.S. anti-apartheid movement opposed the Principles because they were used by corporations as an excuse not to withdraw from South Africa.  They were used by U.S. institutional investors (such as colleges) as an excuse not to divest from those companies that adhered to the Principles.  Among the companies that signed the Principles were Mobil, which sold petroleum products to the police and military; IBM which sold computers to the apartheid regime including the military and prisons; General Motors and Ford which sold vehicles for use by the police and military; and Citibank which made loans to the government.  In 1977 ACOA coordinated a public statement “The Sullivan Principles: No Cure for Apartheid.” See also Too Little, Too Late: The U.S. Corporation Employment Manifesto for South Africa by Jennifer Davis (New York: The Africa Fund, April 1977; The Sullivan Principles: A Critical Look and the U.S. Corporate Role in South Africa by Karen Rothmyer and TerriAnn Lowenthal (New York: The Africa Fund, August 1979); and One Step In The Wrong Direction: An Analysis Of The Sullivan Principles As A Strategy For Opposing Apartheid by Elizabeth Schmidt (New York: Episcopal Churchpeople for a Free South Africa, 1985).

[15] See George M. Houser, No One Can Stop the Rain, op. cit. ; “A Rationale for the Protest Against Banks Doing Business with South Africa” by George Houser, American Committee on Africa, Fall 1966 (typescript);  “The Frankfurt Documents: Secret Bank Loans to the South African Government,” CIC Brief, July, 1973 (New York: Corporate Information Center) and ACOA Action News, No. 1, July/August 1977.

[16] See “The Frankfurt Documents”, op. cit. and letter from European-American Banking Corporation (New York, NY) to Mr. Alexander Kirby, World Council of Churches (Geneva, Switzerland), January 3, 1977.

[17] See “U.S. Banking on South African Apartheid” by Richard Knight, Liberation New Service, #831, November 20, 1976 available at; and U.S. Dollars in South Africa: Context and Consequence by Jennifer Davis (New York: The Africa Fund, 1978).

[18] Some other organizations involved included the America Friends Service Committee, the Amalgamated Meatcutters and Butcher Workers of North America; the Furriers Joint Council and District 1199 Nation Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFL-CIO.  By the fall of 1979 more than $127 million had been withdraw from banks financing apartheid as a result of the campaign. See various issues of ACOA Action News including No. 1, July/August 1977; No. 2, Fall 1977; and No. 6, Fall 1979.

[19] See “Chase Ends Loans to South Africans,” New York Times, August 1, 1985; “U.S. Banks Cut Loans Sharply to South Africans” by Nicholas D. Kristoff, New York Times, August 3, 1985; “Pressure Builds, But South Africa Isn't Budging,” New York Times, August 4, 1985 and “Gold Can't Save Apartheid,” New York Times, August 6, 1985.

[20] South Africa's foreign debt increased from R29,116 million in 1983 to R60,142 million ($23,473 million) in 1985.  South Africa’s vulnerability was increased by the short term nature of the debt.  Debt with a maturity of less than one year jumped from 56% in 1982 to 68% in 1985 to 82% in 1986.  U.S. bank loans were $4,704 million at the end of 1984, about 19% of South Africa’s foreign debt, up from $3,676 million at the end of 1982.  The rapid rise in U.S. bank loans to South Africa came to an abrupt halt in mid-1985.  Between March and September 1985, U.S. bank loans to South Africa declined by $757 million.

[21] For example, in March 1980, Kumalo, then national coordinator of Campaign to Oppose Bank Loans to South Africa, toured Connecticut. His tour was sponsored by the Connecticut Anti-Apartheid Committee, the State Labor Council and the UAW.  While he was there AMSCME Local 1716 passed a resolution in favor of divesting Hartford’s pension fund.  The sponsors of his tour subsequently led the successful effort for state divestment. 

[22] Individual states adopted a number of other innovative measures.  New Jersey removed Shell gas stations from the state turnpike after a major “Boycott Shell” campaign.  Florida did not adopt divestment, banking or selective purchasing but did ban the purchase of South African equities. 

[23] See ACOA Action News, No. 10, 1981.

[24] The emergence of FOSATU and later COSATU, federations of unions representing black workers and supporting the struggle against apartheid, had a major impact on U.S. trade union involvement in the anti-apartheid movement.  Many U.S. unions, including the auto, mining and textile workers formed direct union to union links with their COSATU affiliated South African counterparts in the absence of federation to federation links between the AFL-CIO and COSATU.  For many years the AFL-CIO sought to undermine COSATU, seeing it as too closely aligned to the ANC and the South African Communist Party.  In 1982, for example, the AFL-CIO gave its human rights award to Inkatha President Buthelezi.  Buthelezi opposed sanctions and was frequently cited by opponents of divestment.  At the local level, U.S. unionists took the lead in pushing labor support for anti-apartheid sanctions and divestment.  Public employee unions in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Chicago, New York City, Detroit and elsewhere supported legislation or administrative measures that divested their member’s pension funds.  They participated in international campaigns against the conviction of Oscar Mpetha and for the release of Moses Mayekiso of NUMSA.  In 1983 New York City municipal workers discovered South African pineapple in a shelter for homeless men.  As a result the various municipal unions led a successful effort to divest the city pension funds the following year.  Many of those involved help create a citywide New York Labor Committee Against Apartheid.  Similar activist anti-apartheid labor coalitions were formed in other cities.  The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU), an organization with a rank-and-file membership base, was also active in various anti-apartheid efforts.  William Lucy, Secretary-Treasurer of AFSCME and National President of CBTU addressed both the first and second Conference on Public Investment and South Africa.  In 1974 CBTU called for a boycott of South Africa.

[25] Prior to the conference E.S. Reddy, Director of the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid, arranged for a press conference to be held in the United Nations hosted by Nigerian Ambassador B. Akporode Clark, chair of the UN Special Committee Against Apartheid.  The legislators attending each made a statement.  Thus the UN helped give credibility to the legislators’ actions in support of sanctions.  Reddy, the Centre Against Apartheid and the Special Committee also supported the student movement and the bank campaign.

[26] Julian Bond’s involvement in the U.S. civil rights movement dates to 1960 when he helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).  He later served for many years in the Georgia state legislature and on the National Committee of ACOA.  Since 1998 he has been Chairman of the Board of the NAACP, the oldest U.S. civil rights organization.  The NAACP itself supported the campaign for sanctions and divestment. 

[27] In 1980 Nebraska State Senator Ernie Chambers learned that several thousand dollars worth of Krugerrands had been donated to the University of Nebraska.  Chambers, the only African American in the state legislature, introduced a bill to reduce the state’s budget allocation to the University by the value of the Krugerrands.  Dumisani Kumalo went out to Nebraska to testify in favor of the bill which was passed.  See Massie, op. cit.

[28] The second conference was cosponsored by Mass Divest, the statewide coalition which the campaign for the divestment bill.  See ACOA Action News, No. 15, Spring 1983.  For information on the campaigns in Connecticut and Massachusetts see Legislative Action Against Apartheid: A Case Study of the Connecticut Campaign (New York: American Committee on Africa, January 1982) and Make It In Massachusetts, Not In South Africa: How We Won Divestment Legislation by Mass Divest (New York: American Committee on Africa, March 1983, updated December 1984)

[29] In October 1985 ACOA organized a third conference focusing on action by municipal government. See ACOA Action New, No. 20, Fall 1985.

[30] Jennifer Davis succeeded George Houser as Executive Director in July 1981 and held the position until 2001.  Prior to becoming Executive Director she served as Research Director.  Her research, writing, public speaking and strategic vision played a key role in building the movement.  As part of the African Activist Archive Project we hope to place much of her writing on the African Activist Archive Project and Aluka websites.

[31] Both African American and white legislators played key roles in the campaign.  The campaign was greatly aided by the growth in the 1970s and 1980s in the number of African American elected officials in state legislatures and on city councils who demonstrated the sustained concern necessary to achieve legislation.  Membership in the National Black Caucus of State Legislators climbed from some 40 at its founding in 1977 to more than 600 today.

[32] A number of the concerned state legislators and city councilors were subsequently elected to Congress and have maintained their concern about Africa. This includes such prominent members of the Congressional Black Caucus as Congresswoman Maxine Waters (previously a member of the California State Assembly) and Congressman Danny Davis (previously a member of the Chicago City Council).

[33] Some of these divestments were very large including that of New Jersey (1985) and the New York City pension funds (1984).  In 1986 California adopted a phased four-year plan to divest all state institutions including university endowment and state pension fund.  The California action was achieved after more than five years of campaigning by legislators and anti-apartheid activists led Republican Governor George Deukmejian to reverse his opposition to divestment.  At the time the plan was adopted it was estimated that it would result in the sale of $12.5 billion in stocks and bonds of companies doing business in South Africa.  See ACOA Action News, Number 22, Fall 1986 (New York: American Committee on Africa).  For a comprehensive list of state and city action see State and Municipal Governments Take Aim at Apartheid by Richard Knight (New York, American Committee on Africa, 1991) available at  See also various issues of the Public Investment and South Africa newsletter published by ACOA which contain more information on the campaign and details on specific action taken by states and cities; Divesting from Apartheid: A Summary of State and Municipal Legislative Action on South Africa by Sandy Boyer (New York: American Committee on Africa, March 1983); and various issues of ACOA Action News.

[34] The protests were visible in the U.S., covered in the press and shown on television news.  Also, an important voice at this time was Bishop Desmond Tutu.  “In my view, the Reagan Administration’s support and collaboration with it is equally immoral, evil and totally un-Christian,” Tutu told members of the U.S. Congress in December 1984. “You are either for or against apartheid, and not by rhetoric. You are either in favor of evil, or you are in favor of good. You are either on the side of the oppressed or on the side of the oppressor. You can’t be neutral.” He concluded that constructive engagement “has encouraged the white racist regime into escalated intransigence and oppression.” See “US Policy on S. Africa Is Immoral, Tutu Says,” Boston Globe, December 5, 1984 available at

[35] Chase had been one of leading banks bailing out South Africa following the Sharpeville massacre when capital flight also took place.  For more information on the history of bank loans to and U.S. corporate invest in and withdrawal from South Africa see “Sanctions, Disinvestment, and U.S. Corporations in South Africa” by Richard Knight, Sanctioning Apartheid, Ed. Robert Edgar (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1990); Unified List of United States Companies Doing Business in South Africa [Third Edition] by Richard Knight (New York: The Africa Fund, 1990; Bank Loans to South Africa Mid-1982 to End 1984 prepared by Eva Militz with financial assistance of the World Council of Churches; U.S. Bank Loans to South Africa1972-1978 (New York: Corporate Data Exchange, 1978); “The Banks Say – On South Africa” prepared by Beata Klein for the American Committee on Africa and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (New York: Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, June 1979); Outposts on Monopoly Capitalism: Southern Africa in the Changing Global Economy by Ann Seidman and Neva Seidman Makgetla (Westport: Lawrence Hill & Co. 1980.  ACOA, The Africa Fund, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and other anti-apartheid organizations published information on U.S. corporate involvement in South Africa.  The Investor Responsibility Research Center (IRRC) also published material which was generally only available to paying subscribers, usually institutional investors and companies; this material was not generally available to the anti-apartheid movement.

[36] The Executive Order banned exports of US-manufactured computer hardware and software to agencies that administer or enforce apartheid; the export of nuclear goods, technology; and loans to South African government, except for educational, housing, or health facilities open to all races.

[37] The CAAA banned new U.S. investment in South Africa and new bank loans, except for the purpose of trade. The CAAA prohibited the export of U.S. computers, computer software, or goods or technology intended to service computers to or for the use of the South African military, police, prison system, and national security agencies.  Specific measures against trade included the prohibition of the import of agricultural goods, textiles, shellfish, steel, iron, uranium, the Krugerrand gold coin and the products of state-owned corporations.  Prior to the adoption of the CAAA, companies were disinvesting and any new investment was highly unlikely.  Banks had also stopped making loans resulting in the debt standstill declared in 1985.

[38] There had been a few earlier successes in imposing federal sanctions.  In 1978 Congress banned U.S. Export-Import Bank funding for South Africa, except for activities that supported black-owned businesses.  In 1983 Congress passed the Gramm Amendment to the Bretton Woods Agreement Act which prohibited the U.S. from supporting any IMF loan for any country supporting apartheid.  There were a few exceptions including one for projects which were of economic benefit to the black majority

[39] The House version of the CAAA, introduced by Congressman Ronald Dellums, was much stronger then the Senate version introduced by Senator Richard Lugar.  The House version would have mandated a trade embargo and immediate divestment by U.S. companies.  But the House accepted the Senate version, choosing to get some sanctions passed and force a confrontation with President Reagan.  See Massie, op. cit.  For an interview with Dellums see

[40] In speeches and interviews Reagan attacked the ANC and defended the “dramatic change” under P.W. Botha.

[41] Another company that pulled out at this time was Eastman Kodak.  In May 1986 at a conference on the arms embargo in London I obtained from Frene Ginwala, then Head of Political Research for the ANC, the conference program for the 17th International Congress on High Speed Photography and Photonics, organized by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the South African Optical Society, that was scheduled to be in September in Pretoria.  The South African organizing committee included R. Krohn of Kodak’s South African subsidiary.  U.S. government regulations prohibited sales to CSIR for its “weapons research.”  At that time the New York City had recently adopted a limited selective purchasing law giving preference in granting of City contracts to companies that did not do business with the South African police, military, prisons or Department of Cooperation and Development.  Kodak, which had less than $10,000 of such sales, almost lost an $8 million contract with the city.  The city had granted Eastman Kodak the contract when the company promised not to make any such sales in the future.  In June I alerted the Daily News to the involvement of Kodak; the newspaper promptly called New York City for comment.  Kodak promptly withdrew from the conference and in November disinvested from South Africa.  Unlike some companies that maintained licensing and franchising agreements after disinvesting, Kodak shut down its operations and cut off sales of film to the country. See,

[42] See Divestment Actions Must Target Franchise and Licensing Agreements As Well As Direct Investment (New York: American Committee on Africa, February 1987)

[43] Mobil cited this measure and the 72% tax on profits as a major factor in its decision to withdraw in April 1989.  See Testimony of Jennifer Davis, Executive Director, American Committee on Africa, before the Committee on Ways and Means, House of Representatives, July 8, 1987. 

[44] For a full text see

[45] In 1954 George Houser made a six month tour of Africa ending up in South Africa were he conducted these interviews.  The relationship between Sisulu and Houser and ACOA continued over the decades.  In 1991 Walter Sisulu addressed The Africa Fund’s 25th anniversary.  Between 1995 and 1997, at Walter’s request, George Houser and Herbert Shore conducted more than 14 hours of taped interviews with him.  The result was a book I Will Go Singing: Walter Sisulu speaks of His Life and the Struggle for Freedom in Southern Africa / In conversation with George M. Houser and Herbert Shore  (Cape Town: Robben Island Museum, 1991).  Copies of the tapes are deposited in the Mayibuye Centre at the University of the Western Cape and the ANC archives at Fort Hare University.

[46] In 1966 ACOA established The Africa Fund as its educational and humanitarian assistance arm.  The two organizations shared office space and staff and had overlapping boards.  By 1977 The Africa Fund was publishing much of the material being produced to analyze the nature, extent and impact of U.S. links with Africa.  The Africa Fund also engaged in material aid to African liberation movements.

[47] Information on the No Easy Victory project comes from the Solidarity Research website and personal communications with William Minter.

[48] The title comes from a quote from Amilcar Cabral “Tell the people no lies, claim no easy victories.” found in Guinea-Bissau: Toward Final Victory (Richmond, BC, Canada: Liberation Support Movement, 1974).

[49] Aluka is an “incubated entity” of Ithaka, a U.S. not-for--profit organization “with a mission to accelerate the productive uses of information technologies for the benefit of higher education around the world.”  It is envisioned that eventually Aluka will be an independent self-sustaining organization.  Information in this section comes from the Ithaka website and from personal communications with individuals involved with Aluka including Professor Allen Isaacman and Executive Director Thomas Nygren.

[50]  JSTOR ( is an online database currently with all back issues of 440 journals online available through subscribing institutions such as libraries. This includes many that have articles on Africa and/or on the solidarity movement.  A sophisticated search feature allows searches for words or phrases through all issues.  JSTOR is available 1,280 institutions in the U.S. and 850 institutions in 85 countries outside the U.S. including 18 institutions in six African countries.  ARTstor ( is an online database that serves as a repository of hundreds of thousands of digital images and related data.

[51] Aluka other African content clusters are plants and cultural heritage sites that are not of concern to this paper.