Portlanders Organized for Southern African Freedom

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All (29) | Documents (26) | Photographs (2) | Buttons (1)

Duration: 1983-?
Location: Portland, Oregon, United States
Newsletter: POSAF Newsletter


Portlanders Organized for Southern Africa Freedom (POSAF) was begun in September 1983 as a community group dedicated to supporting all the peoples in Southern Africa who were struggling for self-determination and to end apartheid. Members of POSAF included the Black United Front, the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Southern Africa Program and individuals in the Portland area. The primary focus of POSAF was to expose and challenge U.S. cultural and economic ties with South Africa. POSAF educated Oregonians about the conditions in Southern Africa, oppression of the Black majority population, links between racism in the U.S. and in South Africa and the economic responsibilities of the United States. POSAF activated Americans to work in solidarity with the liberation movements of Southern Africa. POSAF recognized a link between the struggles of Blacks in Southern Africa and the struggle of Blacks in the U.S. for self-determination. POSAF supported the cultural and sports boycott of apartheid South Africa picketing Johnny Mathis, Tina Turner and Kenny Rogers who had performed in South Africa. The O’Jays and Gil Scott-Heron pledged not to perform in South Africa while in Portland for performances. POSAF held twice weekly noontime pickets in front of the office of the honorary South African consul, Calvin van Pelt, who resigned after the demonstrations grew to several hundred people. POSAF campaigned against economic links to South Africa, picketing ships with South African cargo and supporting divestment legislation which was passed in 1987. POSAF sponsored workshops and participated in bringing prominent South African to Portland including Bishop Desmond Tutu and the Rev. Allan Boesak. POSAF operated out of the office of Portland AFSC. (Sources: William Bigelow, Elizabeth Ussher Groff and POSAF documents.)

Related Archive
Title: Portland Anti-Apartheid Materials (Elizabeth Ussher Groff collection)
Time Span: about 1981-1987
Description: Includes material of the American Friends Service Committee (Portland, Oregon office) and Portlanders Organized for Southern Africa Freedom. Elizabeth Ussher Groff was involved with both those organization. Archives deposited by Elizabeth Ussher Groff.
Housed At: Michigan State University Library, Special Collections
Location: 100 Library, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States
Phone: 517-353-8700
Related Website: http://www.lib.msu.edu/spc/index/