Race for Sanctions: African Americans against Apartheid, 1946-1994

By Charles, Eunice A. | The International Journal of African Historical Studies, September 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

Race for Sanctions: African Americans against Apartheid, 1946-1994


Charles, Eunice A., The International Journal of African Historical Studies


Race for Sanctions: African Americans Against Apartheid, 1946-1994. By Francis Njubi Nesbitt. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004. Pp. x, 217. $39.95.

While many Americans may remember the anti-apartheid campaign of the 1980s with its demand for economic sanctions against South Africa, fewer are aware that the American effort to end racial discrimination in that nation goes back to the 1940s and that African Americans have always played an important role in it. In this volume Francis Nesbitt examines the influence of black organizations like the Council on African Affairs and TransAfrica as well as the role of African Americans in the multiracial groups fighting apartheid such as the American Committee on Africa and the Free South Africa Movement. He also describes the efforts of individual African Americans to promote change in South Africa, including the protests of black athletes and the campaign of black workers at Polaroid to have that company stop doing business with the apartheid regime.

Nesbitt emphasizes the nationalist and radical element of black activism, which he sees as making apartheid an issue for ordinary African Americans, although it had little impact on changing U. …

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