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
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.
Parliamentarians and ACTSA supporters came together on 12 January for a special showing of the ‘Forward to Freedom’ exhibition in the House of Commons. Former Cabinet minister and anti-apartheid activist Peter Hain MP paid tribute to all those who had taken part in the struggle for freedom in Southern Africa. Frank Dobson MP, who served as Health Minister in the 1997–2001 Labour government, recalled that the Boycott Movement held its first meeting in Holborn Hall in his Holborn and St Pancras constituency. Frank served on the AAM’s Executive Committee in the 1980s. The event was hosted by ex-AAM Chair Lord Hughes of Woodside and Sheffield Central MP Paul Blomfield, long-serving former secretary of Sheffield Anti-Apartheid, one of the most active of the AAM’s local groups.
Peter Brayshaw’s sudden death on 18 December has shocked and saddened the friends and comrades who worked with him over many years for freedom and equality in Southern Africa.
Peter’s first political activity was as an LSE student in 1967 when he protested at the appointment of the University College of Rhodesia’s former Principal as Director of the LSE. In an interview for this website recorded last year, he recalled how he narrowly escaped a prison sentence after being arrested during a student demonstration on Rhodesia in 1969.
In 1975, Peter travelled to Angola with his partner Tracy Warne, around the time that MPLA declared independence. They were caught up in fighting between MPLA and FNLA in what he later described as ‘a life-changing as well as life-endangering experience’. From then on Peter’s deepest political commitment was to the struggle for liberation in Southern Africa, and especially in Angola and Mozambique.Read more...
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.