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African Activist Association

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Alternate Names: African Activists Association
Duration: 1968 - current
Location: Los Angeles, California, United States


The African Activist Association (sometimes African Activists Association) is a student organization based at the University of California in Los Angeles. It was founded in 1968 on the initiative of Leo Kuper, director of the African Studies Center at UCLA; the original members and leaders included Robert Cummings, Salih El-Arifi, Sondra Hale, Renee Poussaint, Fritz Pointer, Joy Stewart, and Allen Thurm. The organization had an explicitly radical perspective and was concerned with the whole continent, though they focused on supporting the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa and the liberation support movements in Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Cape Verde. They were also concerned with the racial disparities evident in African studies in the U.S., including at UCLA. They formed the editorial board of the student journal Ufahamu, which first published in 1970, and after shifting to an on-line only format in 2008, it continues to publish regularly in 2012. The AAA also sponsors an annual themed conference at UCLA. In the 1970s they were active in the campaign to have the University of California divest its holdings related to South Africa; though members have continued to be active in African support work, more recently the organization has focused on a more academic approach with the journal and conference. [Source Kathleen Sheldon, a former member of the African Activist Association, and Sondra Hale, "Some Notes on Our Africanist/African Past: The Birth and Early Years of UFAHAMU," Ufahamu 34, 3 (Spring 2008): 12-24. See the AAA blog at: http://africanactivists.blogspot.com/]