1st Edition

Struggle for a Free South Africa Campus Anti-Apartheid Movements in Africa and the United States, 1960–1994

Edited By Derek Charles Catsam Copyright 2024

    This book explores anti-apartheid movements on university and college campuses across Africa and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s.

    In the wake of the March 1960 Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa, the country’s apartheid policies drew increasing critical international attention. By the 1970s, South Africa found itself isolated due to growing sporting, economic and cultural boycotts. Africans across the continent showed solidarity with Black South Africans through a range of boycotts and protests, by hosting South Africans exiled from their home country, and by vilifying the apartheid government at every turn. This volume looks at elite institutions as well as state colleges and universities in the United States, and the actions of university students in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa during the anti-apartheid movements in the 1970s and 1980s, revealing the local manifestations of a global struggle. The chapters showcase how vibrant campus anti-apartheid movements were, what universal problems emerged, and where unique concerns manifested at a wide range of institutions.

    Taking innovative approaches and offering case studies, Struggle for a Free South Africa reveals the myriad ways the anti-apartheid struggle manifested in a range of academic environments and how those campaigns have been remembered and documented. This book was originally published as a special issue of Safundi.

    Introduction: Anti-Apartheid Movements on Campus: Personal, Political, and Historical
    Derek Charles Catsam

    1. ‘Until the People Govern’: The Black Students’ Movement at Rhodes University in the 1980s
    Katherine Gillam and Janeke Thumbran 

    2. Anti-Apartheid Activism in Ghana’s Universities, 1960s-1980s
    Emmanuel Asiedu-Acquah

    3. ‘Their Fight Was Our Fight’: A Brief Exploration of the Contribution of Nigerian Universities to the Anti-Apartheid Campaign in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s
    Ini Dele-Adedeji

    4. ‘It is the Principle Behind the Issue Which is Important and Sacred’: Kenyan Rugby and the 1980 University of Nairobi Campaign to End British Contact with Apartheid Sport
    Michelle M. Sikes and Alfred Anangwe

    5. “Divestment and Lemon Meringue Pie: Anti-Apartheid Movements at the University of Florida in Gainesville
    Jacob Ivey

     6. Campus Activism at Yale: Fragmentary Memories and Reflections on the 1980s
    Karin Shapiro, Dan Letwin, and Eric Arnesen

    7. The Anti-Apartheid Movement at Grand Valley State College in West Michigan
    Eric Covey

    8. ‘North Texas Stopped Being a Spectator’: Anti-Apartheid Efforts at the University of North Texas
    Lacy Noel Molina

    9. ‘A Credible Undertaking’: Anti-Apartheid Activism at SUNY Brockport
    Angela Thompsell

    10. The higher morality: Students for a Democratic Society confronts apartheid
    Eric Morgan

    11. Archiving the US Campus anti-apartheid movement
    Christine Root


    Derek Charles Catsam is Professor of History and Kathlyn Cosper Dunagan Professor in the Humanities at the University of Texas Permian Basin and is Senior Research Associate at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. He has authored five previous books.