A pop-up exhibition ‘Forward to Freedom: The history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement’ is available on loan. If you want to borrow it or can suggest a venue where it can be displayed contact us by email
(22 lightweight A2 boards)
Forward to Freedom tells the story of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement and its campaigns to support the people of South Africa in their fight against apartheid. The AAM also campaigned for freedom for Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Angola, and against South Africa’s attacks on its neighbours.
The website is part of a wider education project set up by the AAM Archives Committee that includes a pop-up exhibition and learning resources. It has been funded by the Barry Amiel & Norman Melburn Trust and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and organised in partnership with Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA).
The AAM archive is held at the Bodleian Library, University of Oxford and is open to researchers on application for a Bodleian reader’s card. The archive of Wales AAM is at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwth and that of the Scottish AA Committee at Glasgow Caledonian University.
Follow us on Twitter: @aamarchives
‘Map your Bristol’ is an innovative project illustrating Bristol’s rich history of community action. You can pinpoint sites of anti-apartheid action and read about the campaigns. See where activists threw nails on the pitch to stop the rugby game between Western Counties and the all-white South African Springboks in 1969. View the many shops picketed by anti-apartheid campaigners asking shoppers to boycott South African goods. See the Shell Petrol Station where Bristol AA Group organised a 24-hour picket in protest against Shell’s involvement in South Africa. Visit ‘Map your Bristol’ here
‘Free Nelson Mandela’ – Rivonia trialists Rusty Bernstein and Ahmed Kathrada share their memories of Mandela. Mandela’s biographer Anthony Sampson recalls how for 20 years he was almost forgotten. Tony Hollingsworth tells the behind the scenes story of the 1988 Mandela Tribute concert. Mike Terry and Alan Brooks reflect on the ‘Free Nelson Mandela’ campaign. Read the full transcript of the seminar recorded in 1999 here ‘The Churches and the Anti-Apartheid Movement‘ – Baldwin Sjollema and Pauline Webb talk about the World Council of Churches groundbreaking decision to support the Southern African liberation movements in 1968. Rob Skinner and Kevin Ward recall the ‘turbulent priests’ Trevor Huddleston, Ambrose Reeves and Michael Scott. Jim Wilkie and Brian Brown explain the British churches ambivalent attitude towards sanctions against South Africa and how this changed in the 1980s. Read the full transcript here
An evening of music, images, history and comment
Friday 6 March 2015, 6–8pm
Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS
Organised by SERTUC Race Relations Committee
Contributors: Judy Richards (invited), Professor Mary Davis, Marika Sherwood and Alex Pascall. Chair: Betty Joseph, NUT
Claudia Jones was a seminal figure in British left politics in the second half of the 20th century. The West Indian Gazette, which she founded in 1958, played an important part in publicising the boycott of South African goods in 1959–60 and the activities of the newly formed Anti-Apartheid Movement. Born in Trinidad, Claudia Jones became a political activist after migrating to the USA. In 1955 she was deported for her communist beliefs and came to Britain. She gave a voice to Britain’s growing black community and was a central figure in the ferment of community politics in the late 1950s and early 1960s. After the Notting Hill race riots in 1958 she helped found the Notting Hill Carnival, which continues to this day. Her tragic and premature death in 1964 robbed Britain and the world of an uncompromising and creative fighter against racism and injustice everywhere.
Browse an archive of photos and documents
Former activists tell their stories
A significant part of this project was to record the experiences of former activists in Britain.
Jerry Dammers formed the Specials in Coventry in 1977. An anti-apartheid activist from his school days he helped start Artists Against Apartheid in the UK to campaign and help enforce the cultural boycott. He wrote the song, Free Nelson Mandela, which became an international hit and helped raise awareness of the plight of Mandela and political prisoners in South Africa.
Learn about the history of the Anti-Apartheid Movement through the decades
In 1964 Marlon Brando asked film directors, actors and producers to forbid the screening of their films before segregated audiences in South Africa on a visit to London. In this photograph he is at a press conference with the Anti-Apartheid Movement’s Hon. Secretary Abdul Minty.
The Rolling Stones broke off negotiations for a South African tour and the Beatles announced they opposed apartheid.