The American Committee on Africa (ACOA) and The Africa Fund hosted a reception honoring African National Congress (ANC) President Oliver R. Tambo at Roosevelt House, Hunter College, New York City. Remarks were made by Harry Belafonte (Master of Ceremonies), ACOA/Africa Fund Executive Director Jennifer Davis, and President Tambo. President Tambo was presented with a check for more than $100,000 from artists’ royalties from the anti-apartheid single and album Sun City. The album was produced by Little Steven van Zandt and Arthur Baker. From rock to reggae to rap, 54 popular artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Pat Benatar to Herbie Hancock, formed Artists United Against Apartheid and sang against apartheid in South Africa. The album was part of the cultural boycott; artists not only donated their royalties from this song, they also pledged not to perform at the Sun City resort in the South African Bantustan Bophuthatswana until the end of apartheid. The Sun City project had broad impact; the song was played widely on the radio. Also, there was a music video and documentary that appeared on MTV and other stations, a book published by Viking-Penguin, and a teacher’s guide by Bill Bigelow. Royalties from the Sun City records and related projects went to The Africa Fund, which allocated them to support political prisoners and their families inside South Africa; the cultural, educational and health needs of South African exiles; and anti-apartheid education work in the U.S., including campaigns to free detainees and political prisoners and mobilizing local communities protests. The photo shows Africa Fund Chair Tilden LeMelle handing the check to President Tambo, flanked by Little Steven van Zandt (far left) and Harry Belafonte (far right).
Audio by used by permission of Africa Action, successor to the American Committee on Africa and The Africa Fund. Photo permission of David Vita.