Amandla! I was one of the labor organizers who at the request of the ANC and COSATU helped grow bilateral relations …

by Kathy Devine
Forest Park, Illinois, United States
Undated, mid-July 2013
2 pages
Type: Speech
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
Speech, probably by Kathy Devine, to an unknown gathering. Devine tells a story about a union organizer named Joe Smith. He came to Chicago from Rock Island when he was only 22 to organize boycotts for the United Farm Workers movement and went on to organize farm workers in the fields of California; in the 1980s, Joe returned to Rock Island. Nelson Mandela was still in jail when Joe Smith got brain cancer. Joe came to Devine and made her promise to include him in organizing for a Free South Africa because he wanted to be part of the struggle and to see Mandela go free. Joe's eldest son died of AIDS at age 16, and then Joe died at age 49, about the time Mandela came out of jail. This week, Devine said she thought of that farm worker organizer, "up there," watching as Nelson Mandela turns 95.

Used by permission of the family of Kathleen M. Devine.
Collection: Kathleen M. Devine papers