The history of the ANC, which is the oldest liberation movement on the African continent, is one that has generated a great deal of interest amongst historians in recent years. Gone are the days when the history of African nationalism could be relegated to the margins of the study of the South African past. Instead, with the ANC having ascended to the helm of political power, a position it has maintained for over twenty years, there can be no question that its history occupies an important and permanent place in the history of the nation.
This volume gathers together some of the most important contributions to the literature on the ANC’s role in South Africa’s struggle for liberation. Besides important themes such as gender, ethnicity, and healthcare, contributions from leading historians also address why the ANC decided to engage in armed struggle; what role the South African Communist Party played in making this decision; how the ANC External Mission contributed to the upsurge of mass protest in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s; and the ANC’s contribution, relative to the other components of the liberation struggle, in ensuring the eventual demise of the old racial order. The chapters in this book were originally published in the South African Historical Journal, the Journal of Southern African Studies, and African Studies.
Table of Contents
Preface Thula Simpson
1. Dialectical Dances: Exploring John Dube’s Public Life Heather A. Hughes
2. ‘A Member of the Race’: Dr Modiri Molema’s Intellectual Engagement with the Popular History of South Africa, 1912-1921 Jane Starfield
3. Women and the Problem of Family in Early African Nationalist History and Historiography Meghan Healy-Clancy
4. The African National Congress in the Western Transvaal/Northern Cape Platteland, c.1910-1964: Patterns of Diffusion and Support for Congress in a Rural Setting Andrew Hayden Manson and Bernard Mbenga
5. The Lasting Legacy: The Soviet Theory of the National-Democratic Revolution and South Africa Irina Filatova
6. The Genesis of the ANC’s Armed Struggle in South Africa 1948-1961 Stephen Ellis
7. The African National Congress (ANC) Underground: From the M-Plan to Rivonia Raymond Suttner
8. ‘The Road to Freedom is via the Cross’: ‘Just Means’ in Chief Albert Luthuli’s Life Raymond Suttner
9. Emasculating Agency: An Unambiguous Assessment of Albert Luthuli’s Stance on Violence Scott Everett Couper
10. Secret Party: South African Communists between 1950 and 1960 Tom Lodge
11. The ANC, MK, and ‘The Turn to Violence’ (1960-1962) Paul S. Landau
12. Armed and Trained: Nelson Mandela’s 1962 Military Mission as Commander in Chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe and Provenance for his Buried Makatov Pistol Garth Benneyworth
13. Transformations in the ANC External Mission and Umkhonto we Sizwe, c. 1960-1969 Arianna Lissoni
14. Healthcare in Exile: ANC Health Policy and Health Care Provision in MK Camps, 1964 to 1989 Melissa Armstrong
15. Main Machinery: The ANC’s Armed Underground in Johannesburg During the 1976 Soweto Uprising Thula Simpson
16. ‘Umkhonto we Sizwe, We are Waiting for You’: The ANC and the Township Uprising, September 1984 – September 1985 Thula Simpson
17. Sex in a Time of Exile: An Examination of Sexual Health, AIDS, Gender, and the ANC, 1980-1990 Carla Tsampiras
Thula Simpson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. He has published extensively on the ANC’s armed struggle and the organisation’s relationship with popular protest movements in South Africa. He is the author of Umkhonto we Sizwe: The ANC’s Armed Struggle (2016).