No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950-2000

Edited by William Minter,
Gail Hovey, and Charles Cobb Jr.
Published by Africa World Press.
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Using No Easy Victories in Teaching

Jeanne Penvenne, "Race, Class, and Power in Southern Africa"
Tufts University, Fall 2008
   Reflections|Syllabus|Discussion Memos

Race, Class, and Power in Southern Africa
History 150 - Tufts University - Fall 2008
Prof. Jeanne Marie Penvenne

Discussion Memo

No Easy Victories; African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century, 1950 – 2000. Edited by William Minter, Gail Hovey and Charles Cobb Jr. Foreword by Nelson Mandela. Trenton New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2008.


“Tell no lies; claim no easy victories.” PAIGC Party Directives, 1965 — Amilcar Cabral, Guinea (1924-1973) p. i

“The mythical Sankofa bird of the Akan people of West Africa, always flies forward while looking back. It holds an egg symbolizing future generations in its mouth The Sankofa bird reminds us that we need to understand the past in order to move forward to build the future.” p.iv

“The Americans we trusted most were those who understood tat their civil rights movement and their anti-Vietnam War movement, for example, were part of the same battle we waged in Africa…. No Easy Victories makes it clear that our lives and fortunes around the globe are indeed linked. My hope and belief is that it will inspire a new generation to take up today's challenges.” — Nelson Mandela, South Africa p. viii

“If the roots of the anti-apartheid movement wee planted in earlier decades, he 1970s was the decade in which those roots began to grow, shaping the course of the movement in the 1980s and into the `1990s. In my own case, involvement with African liberation pushed me away from my own uncritical politics into a more disciplined analysis and approach to struggle,” Joseph F. Jordan, p. 114

Discussion Ante Addition:

This book mentions hundreds of people and organizations, sometimes only once. Choose two names or organizations, and tell us why you selected those two.

Film / Discussion Memo

“Apartheid and the Club of the West”

The blurb states that "Have you heard from Johannesburg?" is a film series comprised of "Six documentary stories chronicling the history of the global anti-apartheid movement that took on both the South African government and its international supporters, who considered South Africa an ally in the Cold War."

Note the time overlap in the episodes:

1. Road to Resistance 1948 to 1964 Apartheid / U.N. Decl. Human Rights to Rivonia
2. Long Walk Exile 1960 – 1977 – Oliver Tambo
3. Don't play with Apartheid 1958-1981 – Rugby, Cricket, Olympic Sports Boycott
4. Apartheid and the Club of the West 1977-1986
5. Other side of the Rubicon – 1965-1980 – Divestment takes hold
6. Mandela Freed at Last 1979-1990 – From UDF to Free Mandela

This episode covers just over a decade of the 3 generations of struggle considered in the full six episodes, from the articulation of full blown Apartheid in the late 40s to Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and the restoration of political parties in 1990.

Apartheid and the Club of the West features African American efforts in the United States to change U.S. Foreign policy toward South Africa from President Ronald Reagan ’s “Constructive Engagement” to a broad sanctions regime designed to cast South Africa firmly as a global outcast.

Clarity Educational Productions. 89 Minutes, 2007 documentary
Director, Connie Field


American Committee on Africa, Director, Jennifer Davis

TransAfrica, Director, Randall Robinson Over-riding Reagan & King Veto

Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Lugar, Ron Dellums, Charles Diggs, John Conyers, Adwoa Dunn Martin, Sylvia Hill (TransAfrica)

Constructive Engagement – Chester Crocker “SA requires more, not fewer links ”

Moral Witness Representative Silvio Conte of Massachusetts

Congressional Black Caucus

Sit-ins and Pickets: South African Embassy, Washington D.C.

Rosa Parks, Harry Belafonte, Stevie Wonder, Paul Newman “Designer Arrests”

Disinvestment / Divestment Mel King – Rainbow Coalition

Columbia University / Stanford University / Massachusetts State Government

South African Pineapples and Unions 2 Oct. 1986 Sanctions - Law

This page is part of the No Easy Victories website.