ANC, Mandela and the African American struggle: How national and class oppression shaped the evolution of movements in South Africa and the US

Feb 12, 2014

As the African National Congress celebrates 20 years in power this year, many people may not know that the anti-apartheid liberation organization had close links with the African American civil rights movement. ANC should continue to support liberation struggles around the world


With the passing of Nelson Mandela on December 5, 2013, the impact of his life and political work was recognized by not just the people of South Africa and the African continent but oppressed and struggling peoples throughout the world. People of African descent outside of Africa, particularly in the United States, cherished the legacy of Mandela and saw within him much that was reflective and inspirational to the African American people’s movement for genuine equality and self-determination.

Yet what is often not recognized is the more than a century-old linkage between the South African and African American peoples which extends back even prior to the founding of the South African Native National Congress (SANNC) in 1912, which was later named the African National Congress (ANC) in 1923. Key figures within the South African and African American anti-racist movements intersected inside both the U.S. and Africa….

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