Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid and Racism

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Alternate Names: Capital District Coalition for Southern Africa and Against Racism, Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid
Duration: 1981 - 1995
Location: Albany, New York, United States
Newsletter: CD-CAAR Newsletter


The Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid and Racism (CD-CAAR), a coalition of community organizations and individual members, was founded by a group of Albany, NY area residents who organized to prevent the Springboks, the all-white South African national rugby team representing the apartheid South African government, from playing a game against the American all-star rugby team in Albany scheduled for September 22, 1981. Originally known as the Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid (CD-CAA), the organization added Racism to their title in the months following the Springbok game to emphasize that their fight was against racism, both domestic and international, as well as South African apartheid. CD-CAAR became a member of the Social Justice Center, an umbrella for organizations working on peace and justice, after its formation as an organization in 1981. CD-CAAR also worked closely with the Albany chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and The Center for Law and Justice, Inc. and other prominent community leaders. In the early to mid-1980s, CD-CAAR's campaign to isolate the apartheid South African government took the form of picketing and boycotting entertainers who performed in South Africa in an attempt to convince them to issue public apologies and to stop performing there until apartheid ended. The first cultural boycott demonstration instigated by CD-CAAR occurred in 1982 when Chick Corea was scheduled to perform at the Troy Music Hall in Troy, New York. CD-CAAR also took part in picketing state and federal buildings in an effort to block investment in South Africa. In 1985 CD-CAAR participated in a divestment campaign to remove New York State pension funds from companies operating in South Africa. The group also joined with the Free South Africa Movement by participating in nationally coordinated actions. CD-CAAR co-founded the Northeast Southern Africa Solidarity Network (NESASN) circa 1988. NESASN was a network of anti-apartheid organizations from nine surrounding states, working with the other groups to end apartheid and racism. CD-CAAR also collaborated with and relied heavily on the resources of three national organizations: the American Committee on Africa, the Washington Office on Africa, and the Mozambique Solidarity Network. CD-CAAR expanded its focus to include a variety of areas relating to apartheid and racism. Recognizing that apartheid affected areas other than South Africa, beginning circa 1984 CD-CAAR attempted to help the southern region of Africa, especially the "frontline states" of Mozambique and Angola. Among other things, CD-CAAR raised money for the elections in Namibia and for schools in Mozambique. CD-CAAR fought racism at home as well as abroad since its founding in 1981. The release of Nelson Mandela, and the subsequent 1994 elections in South Africa which brought an end to the apartheid regime and introduced democracy, altered the mission of CD-CAAR. In 1995, CD-CAAR reorganized in recognition of the new conditions and focused its efforts on supporting the new South African government. The new organization changed its name to the Capital District Coalition for Southern Africa and Against Racism. (Based on and excerpted from Administrative History section of Finding Aid for the CAPITAL DISTRICT COALITION AGAINST APARTHEID AND RACISM, Records, 1981-1995 )

Organizational Archive


Title: Capital District Coalition Against Apartheid and Racism
Time Span: 1981 - 1995
Media: 8 boxes, 3.5 linear feet. 6 reels of microfilm
Description: Most of the records document the organization's involvement in the fight against apartheid in South Africa, while a smaller amount details its struggle against police abuse in Albany, New York and around the United States. Due to the chronological organization of most records, references to topics are scattered throughout the collection. CD-CAAR records consist of correspondence, police and court documents, fliers, announcements of meetings, newsletters, pamphlets, handouts, a few minutes from steering committee meetings, and newspaper clippings. Most of the newspaper clippings, and many of the police and court documents are photocopies of the original papers, therefore the quality of the microfilm image may be inconsistent. Includes records documenting CD-CAAR's campaign to isolate the apartheid South African government by picketing and boycotting entertainers who performed in South Africa (1982-), as well as those referring to CD-CAAR's participation in picketing state and federal buildings in an effort to block investment in South Africa (1985-) are located in the Coalition Activities series. The records also document CD-CAAR's interest in the "frontline states" of Namibia, Mozambique and Angola beginning circa 1984 are scattered throughout the collection. The Catalog/Finding aid includes an overview and brief history of the organization.
Housed At: University at Albany, University Library, SM.E Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, State University of New York
Location: 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany NY 12222, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Phone: (518) 442-3600
Related Website: http://library.albany.edu/speccoll/africanamerican.htm