TRANSAFRICA IN BOSTON
by TransAfrica Boston Chapter
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
The document says the premier TransAfrica chapter grew out of the local arm of the TransAfrica Action Alert system in 1979, set up by National Board member Willard Johnson and directed by Charles Yancey (now a member of the Boston City Council). The TransAfrica Boston Support Group was incorporated in 1981. In February 1983, it organized a colloquium and dinner honoring 18 of the 22 living African Americans who had served the U.S. at the Ambassadorial level, which led to formation of the National Association of Black Former U.S. Ambassadors. The Chapter also played an important role in securing passage of the first comprehensive state pension fund divestment bill on South Africa, followed by some of the earliest complete City divestment and selective purchase bills. The Chapter's tax-exempt affiliate, the Boston TransAfrica Forum, played a key role in planning Nelson and Winnie Mandela’s visit to Boston. It also organized the merchandizing operations related to the visit, which generated nearly $80,000 for the tour as well as support for seven community-based anti-apartheid organizations. More than 35 community leaders have been elected to the Board of the Boston Chapter, under presidencies of Willard Johnson, James Woodard, and Pearl Robinson. Recent public education programs have concerned Elections in Haiti, Transition in Liberia, Implications of the Gulf War for the black world, and Civil Rights in Kenya. The Chapter holds monthly meetings, publishes “Legislative Watch" bulletins, edits a monthly column of articles called “TransAfrica Report” that is published by a number of black community newspapers across the country, and frequently provides comment and analysis to local print and broadcast media.
Used by permission of a former member of TransAfrica Boston Chapter.
Collection: Private collection of Willard Johnson