Interview with Howard Wolpe
by Howard Wolpe (interviewee),David Wiley (interviewer)
East Lansing, Michigan, United States December 8, 2003
Michigan State University Libraries
Howard Wolpe discusses his 40-year scholarly and political career, focusing particularly on issues of Africa and racism in the United States. Wolpe did his PhD dissertation research in Nigeria in 1963-65 and joined the Political Science faculty of Western Michigan University in 1967. After serving in the Michigan House of Representatives, Wolpe served for 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, 10 of them as Chair of the Africa Subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee. Wolpe tells anecdotes about his early efforts as Subcommittee Chair to back President Carter’s decision to retain U.S. sanctions against Rhodesia and his strategizing with Representative Ronald Dellums and the Congressional Black Caucus about moving the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act through the House and in Conference Committee with the Senate. Wolpe also discussed his work as President Carter’s Special Envoy to the African Great Lakes Region (when he led the U.S. delegation to talks aimed to end civil wars in Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo), his time as Director of the Africa Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, and subsequent work dealing with Burundi. [Note: Howard Wolpe passed away on October 25, 2011.]
Used by permission of David Wiley and Michigan State University Libraries.
Collection: African Studies Interview Series, Michigan State University Libraries