Southern Africa Liberation Committee

View objects associated with this organization:
All (157) | Documents (117) | Photographs (21) | Buttons (8) | Posters (5) | T-Shirts (2) | Audio (2) | Video (2)

Duration: 1973 - 1997
Location: East Lansing, Michigan, United States


The Southern Africa Liberation Committee (SALC) was a community organization working at Michigan State University (MSU) and in the Lansing, Michigan area from 1973 through 1997. It was founded by an MSU protestant campus minister Warren "Bud" Day, MSU political science doctoral candidate Carol B. Thompson, and MSU anthropology professor Bill Derman. Key players for decades were MSU tennis coach Frank Beeman and his wife Patricia Beeman. SALC was associated with the community-based Peace Education Center in East Lansing and also was a registered student organization at MSU. Some members of SALC formed a Zimbabwe Task Force in the mid-1970s. SALC organized a series of campaigns for material aid to liberation movements, educational (speakers, films), and action campaigns. In 1975-1976 it campaigned against U.S. intervention in Angola. In 1977 SALC successfully lobbied the City of East Lansing to adopt a selective purchasing policy restricting city purchases to companies not doing business in apartheid South Africa. SALC campaigned for MSU to divest from companies with subsidiaries in South Africa. With faculty and student support, the MSU Board of Trustees voted in 1978 to make it the first major public university to divest. SALC then campaigned for the MSU Foundation to divest, which occurred in 1986. SALC initiated the "McGoff Off" campaign in 1979 to remove the John McGoff name from the MSU Wharton Center because of his secret agent activity for the apartheid government, which was achieved in 1984. In 1978 SALC members met with State Representatives Lynn Jondahl (East Lansing), Virgil Smith (Detroit), and Perry Bullard (Ann Arbor) to plan a campaign for Michigan to adopt sanctions against apartheid South Africa. Subsequently the Michigan State Legislature passed three sanctions bills: prohibiting the deposit of state funds in banks making loans to South Africa (1979), prohibiting state university and college investments in firms operating in South Africa (1982), and divesting the $4 billion State of Michigan Pension Fund of any companies operating in South Africa (1988). Students in SALC also founded the national “Coke Boycott,” protesting Coca Cola’s staying in South Africa; they succeeded in removing Coke products from MSU dormitories. (Sources: David Wiley and No Easy Victories: African Liberation and American Activists over a Half Century 1950-2000, Africa World Press, 2008)

Organizational Archive


Title: Southern Africa Liberation Committee collection; Patricia L. Beeman
Time Span: 1973 - 1997
Media: 36 boxes (529 folders + 198 artifacts + 3 videotapes + 104 books)
Description: The collection documents the work of the Southern Africa Liberation Committee (SALC), a highly successful community organization working at Michigan State University and in the Lansing, Michigan area from 1973 through 1997. The collection details SALC's educational and social action campaigns, including the East Lansing Selective Buying Resolution (1977), the campaigns for the divestiture of Michigan State University (1978) and the MSU Foundation (1986), the three sanctions bills by the State of Michigan Legislature (on banking loans to South Africa and divestiture by the higher education institutions of Michigan and by the State of Michigan Pension Fund, 1982-86), and the "McGoff Off" campaign to remove the McGoff name from the MSU Wharton Center (1979-84). Particularly extensive newspaper clippings collected by Frank and Patricia Beeman from the national and local press describe conditions in Southern Africa and the SALC activities in response to those conditions. The books in this collection address the issues surrounding apartheid and resistance to it. The use of graphic arts to support these political and liberation activities is well illustrated by the numerous posters, protest buttons, and T-shirts produced both by SALC and by international organizations supporting the liberation of Southern Africa. This collection forms part of the African Activist Archive collections. Archive deposited by Harris F. "Frank" Beeman.
Housed At: Michigan State University Library, Special Collections
Location: 100 Library, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Restrictions: Library use only
Phone: 517-353-8700
Related Website: http://www.lib.msu.edu/spc/index/

Related Archive
Title: Carol B. Thompson and Bud Day Papers on Southern Africa
Time Span: 1970s - 1990
Description: The archive of Carol Thompson and Warren "Bud" Day reflects their activities in support of Southern Africa liberation in the United States and Africa. Their solidarity activity which began when Day, campus minister at Michigan State University (MSU), and Thompson, a political science doctoral candidate and MSU, founded the Southern Africa Liberation Committee (SALC) in 1972. They were involved in the founded of Concerned Americans in Southern Africa (CASA) when they lived in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from late 1977 to mid-1980. This involvement with CASA continued when the lived in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1985-1986 and in1992-1993 plus four other time in shorter periods ranging from two to six months. During their time in Zimbabwe, Carol was based at the University of Zimbabwe and her research and writing addressed the whole Southern African region (Southern Africa Development Community). Bud worked in water and sanitation and was country director of Oxfam America (1985-1986) and of International Voluntary Services (1992-1993) while in Harare. Bud Day was Peace Education Secretary, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in Chicago (1976-1977) and in Pasadena, CA (1977-1978). After moving to Los Angeles in 1981 they founded the Southern Africa Research Project (SARP) in response to the need for dissemination of materials about Southern Africa in Southern California. SARP's focus was on providing resources and thus it only staged events in coalition with other anti-apartheid organizations in Los Angeles. The archive includes material on the Southern Africa Support Committee (SASC), funded in the early 1970s by people associated with the Black Panthers, which became the most consistent and enduring liberation support group in Los Angeles (see separate organization description). SASC was one of the organizations that SARP worked with and supplied information to. The archives includes material on campaigns, many involving SASC including against Del Monte for fishing in Namibia waters, the attempt of South Africa to open a consulate in Los Angeles, and the Krugerrand. There were also campaigns in sport of the sports and cultural boycott including South African participation in the Davis Cup tennis tournament in Newport Beach and U.S. artists performing in South Africa. This collection forms part of the African Activist Archive collections. Collection donated by Carol Thompson. (Source: Carol Thompson)
Housed At: Michigan State University Library, Special Collections
Location: 100 Library, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Restrictions: Contact library in advance
Phone: 517-353-8700
Related Website: http://www.lib.msu.edu/spc/index/