Topic and Guests: Reflections on the Free South Africa Movement, Ferguson and Beyond. Washington, DC was critical in the international struggle against apartheid as it was the home of a vital grassroots movement in support of African liberation. Thirty years ago on Thanksgiving Eve on November 21, 1984, Dr. Mary Frances Berry then U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner, then-DC Delegate Walter Fauntroy, and Mr. Randall Robinson then Executive Director of TransAfrica were arrested at the South African embassy for protesting apartheid after meeting the ambassador. Also part of that delegation was Dr. Eleanor Holmes-Norton who was not arrested so that she could brief the media on the group’s intention.
That event led to year-long daily arrests in front of the South African embassy of people protesting apartheid and U.S. support of the regime. It also galvanized a national movement which lead to the eventual passage of the sanctions bill—the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986—overriding President Ronald Reagan’s veto.
To commemorate this occasion Africa Now! played portions of a discussion that occurred at Howard University’s Moorland Spingarn Research Center and the university’s Ronald Walters Leadership and Public Policy Center earlier this year entitled “Washington, DC, and the Free South Africa Movement: A Retrospective.” The show also focused on the implications of the Free South Africa Movement in relation to Ferguson and beyond.
“Washington, DC, and the Free South Africa Movement: A Retrospective" featured former Congressman Ronald Dellums (D-CA); and Dr. Sylvia Hill of University of the District of Columbia and of TransAfrica’s Board. The discussion leader was Dr. Howard Dodson, Director of the Moorland Spingarn Research Center--the full discussion is below after the link to the show. Also on Africa Now! was human rights lawyer and the immediate past President of TransAfrica Ms. Nicole C. Lee, who just returned from Ferguson.
Originally broadcast on WPFW 89.3FM, Washington, DC. Tune into Africa Now! live on WPFW 89.3 FM in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area or visit www.wpfwfm.org on Wednesdays from 1:00 to 2:00PM (Eastern).