Online Forum–The End of South African Apartheid Anniversary

Joseph E. Lowery and Others Posing With Anti-Apartheid Signs c. 1985 (Digital Public Library of America)

APRIL 23, 2024 – MAY 7, 2024

Black Perspectives, the award-winning blog of the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS), is hosting an online forum commemorating the end of apartheid in South Africa (April 1994). The two-week online forum brings together scholars from South Africa, the United States, and the United Kingdom to discuss the Global Anti-Apartheid Movement as it stretched across Africa, the West, and the Global South, condemning white supremacy, imperialism, and racism. Featured writers include Gabeba Baderoon, Navid Farnia, Nicholas Grant, Amanda Joyce Hall, Jessica Ann Levy, Athambile Masola, Noor Nieftagodien, Yasmina Martin, Tiana U. Wilson, and Mattie Webb. 

During the online forum/roundtable, Black Perspectives will publish blog posts every day at 5:00 AM EST. Please follow Black Perspectives (@BlkPerspectives) and AAIHS (@AAIHS) on Twitter/X or @AAIHS (@AAIHS23) on Instagram; like AAIHS on Facebook; or subscribe to our blog for updates. By subscribing to Black Perspectives, each new post will automatically be delivered to your inbox during the week of the forum.

About the Organizer

Tiana U. Wilson, Ph.D. is a Just Transformations postdoctoral fellow in African American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University and an incoming assistant professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh (Fall 2024). She recently completed a Ph.D. in History with a portfolio in Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.Drawing on political speeches, newsletters, articles, pamphlets, and travel logs, her book project, “Revolution and Struggle: The Enduring Legacy of the Third World Women’s Alliance,” examines Black women’s contributions to women of color feminist groups in the U.S. from the 1960s to the present. Professor Wilson’s academic and public writing has appeared in numerous venues, including the Journal of African American History, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Oxford Bibliographies in African American Studies, Not Even Past, Handbook of Texas Women, Perspectives on History, and the Washington Post’s Made By History. Her research has been supported by the American Council of Learned Societies, the Center for Engaged Scholarship, the Sallie Bingham Center, Smith College, the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @PhenomenalTiana.

Featured Writers

Gabeba Baderoon is a South African poet, editor, academic, memoirist, and performer. She is currently an Associate Professor of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, African Studies, and Comparative Literature and holds courtesy appointments in the Social Thought Program and the School of International Affairs. She co-directs the African Feminist Initiative at Penn State with Alicia Decker and Maha Marouan. Baderoon received a PhD in English from the University of Cape Town and has held Post-doctoral fellowships in the Africana Research Center and the “Islam, African Publics and Religious Values” Project. Among her honors are the Sarah Baartman Senior Fellowship at the University of Cape Town, an Extraordinary Professorship of English at Stellenbosch University, and fellowships at the African Gender Institute, the Nordic Africa Institute, Bellagio and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. Baderoon is the author of Regarding Muslims: from Slavery to Post-Apartheid, which received the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Best Non-fiction Monograph Award, and the poetry collections The Dream in the Next Body, A hundred silences and The History of Intimacy. Her poetry has been recognized with the Daimler award, the Elisabeth Eybers Poetry Prize, the University of Johannesburg Prize for South African Writing and a Best Poetry Book Award from the National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Baderoon also co-edited the award-winning essay collection, Surfacing: on Being Black and Feminist, with Desiree Lewis.

Navid Farnia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Wayne State University. His research broadly explores the relationship between racial oppression in the United States and U.S. imperialism. Dr. Farnia is currently working on a book manuscript, National Liberation in an Imperialist World: Race, Counterrevolution, and the United States, which examines how the United States responded to national liberation movements at home and abroad from the 1950s to 1980. The book makes sense of the U.S. national security state’s evolution by showing how the strategies and tactics used against liberation movements triggered modern forms of policing and warfare. Dr. Farnia is also on the steering committee for the International People’s Tribunal on U.S. Imperialism, which investigates the effects of sanctions, blockades, and economic coercive measures imposed by the U.S. on Global South countries.

Nicholas Grant is an Associate Professor of United States History at the University of East Anglia, in the UK. His first book, Winning Our Freedoms Together: African Americans and Apartheid, 1945-1960 was published in 2017 with UNC Press. His articles have appeared in, Modern American HistorySafundi, the Radical History Review, the Journal of American Studies and Palimpsest: A Journal of Women, Gender and the Black International. He is currently working on the history of South African Airways and the anti-apartheid movement, tentatively titled Apartheid in the Air: Race, Aviation and Decolonization, 1948-1994.

Amanda Joyce Hall is a Black Studies scholar and historian of Black transnational movements against colonialism and apartheid. She is an assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she teaches courses on African American and African Diaspora history. She writes about Black radicalism, anti-Apartheid, and internationalist organizing between the US, South Africa, and the larger African world. Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of African American History and blogs and magazines such as Black Perspectives and The Funambulist. Her forthcoming book is a history of Black internationalist organizing in the global movement against South African Apartheid, the research for which has been supported by her fellowships at the Newcombe Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the US Fulbright Program and the Black Studies Departments at Northwestern, UCSB, and Yale.

Jessica Ann Levy is an Assistant Professor of History at Purchase College, State University of New York. She is working on her first book, Black Power, Inc.: Corporate America, Race, and Empowerment Politics in the U.S. and Africa, which examines the transnational rise of Black empowerment politics in the U.S. and sub-Saharan Africa since World War II. Levy’s work has appeared in Enterprise & SocietyThe Journal of Urban History, Black Perspectives, the Washington Post, and other venues. Levy co-hosts Who Makes Cents?: A History of Capitalism podcast.

Athambile Masola is a writer, researcher and an award-winning poet based in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town. She received her PhD from Rhodes University. Her dissertation was an exploration of black women’s life writing with a particular focus on Noni Jabavu and Sisonke Msimang’s memoirs. Her primary research focuses on black women’s life writing and historiography. Her research is also informed by the early 20th century newspaper archive in South Africa (particularly written in isiXhosa). She is primarily concerned with the nature of erasure and the ways in which multiple forms of reading a variety of texts can inform archival research. Her debut collection of poetry is written in isiXhosa, Ilifa (Uhlanga Press, 2021). She is the co-author of the children’s history book series, Imbokodo: Women who shape us (Jacana Media, 2022), with Dr Xolisa Guzula. Her latest book is a collaboration with Makhosazana Xaba; a collection of Noni Jabavu’s columns from 1977, A stranger at Home (Tafelberg, 2023).

Noor Nieftagodien is the NRF South African Research Chair in Local Histories, Present Realities and is the Head of the History Workshop at the University of the Witwatersrand, where he also lectures in the Department of History. He is the co-author, with Phil Bonner, of books on the history of Alexandra, Ekurhuleni and Kathorus, and has also published books on the history of Orlando West and the Soweto uprising, and co-edited a book on the history of the ANC. Noor has published articles and book chapters on aspects of popular insurgent struggles, public history, youth politics and local history. He is currently researching the history of the Congress of South African Students and is the co-editor of Labour Struggles in Southern Africa, 1919-1949: New Perspectives on the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU), He serves on the boards of the South African History Archives (SAHA), the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) and the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI), as well as of the journal, African Studies. 

Yasmina Martin is a PhD candidate in African history at Yale University. Her dissertation, which examines histories of South African exiles in post-colonial Tanzania, argues that the futures of postcolonial Tanzanians and exiled southern Africans were entangled during the crucial years of Tanzanian nation-building and development. Her current project expands​ current understandings of decolonization, Pan-Africanism as foreign policy, and liberation movements in exile. Yasmina also has keen interests in queer African histories, and her previous research in Simon Nkoli was published in the Journal of Southern African Studies in 2020. Her research has been supported by Fulbright-IIE, theAmerican Historical Association, and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition.

Mattie Webb is a Postdoctoral Fellow and Kissinger Visiting Scholar with International Security Studies at the Jackson School of Global Affairs at Yale University. She is also an affiliate scholar with Rhodes University’s Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) in South Africa. A historian of the United States and southern Africa, Mattie’s research explores the history of the anti-apartheid movement by considering the impact of U.S. business reform on South African workers, particularly those employed by U.S. multinationals. Her work has appeared in Enterprise & SocietyEthnic Studies ReviewCold War History, and The Washington Post. She received her Ph.D. in History from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where her work was funded by a Fulbright fellowship.

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