[Dear Fellow Africanists: About a year ago I wrote to inform you that a number of us were going to make a serious effort to revitalize The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars.]
by Allen Isaacman, Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
November 16, 1982
Association of Concerned Africa Scholars
Executive Secretary Allen Isaacman asks ACAS members and other specialists in African studies to support ACAS. ACAS belives that an informed, concerted voice of opposition was essential to challenge the Reagan Administration's Africa policy, which sees events in Africa through a Cold War prism. This year, ACAS collected and sent petitions to President Mobutu and the U.S. State Department with more than 800 signatures protesting the illegal detainment in Zaire of Professor Ernest Wamba-Dia-Wamba. ACAS supported the Dennis Brutus Defense Campaign and vigorously protested plans to expel Ethiopian students from the U.S. Most of ACAS’ political activity centered around South Africa. Through a telephone tree, ACAS mobilized substantial opposition within the academic community to the Reagan administration's decision to relax export control to permit transferring military technology and computers to Pretoria and mobilized opposition to the recent CAB decision allowing South African Airways to open a new route from Johannesburg to Houston. ACAS also participated in the campaign to protest the inhumane treatment of three ANC militants and we demanded that they be accorded full rights under the Geneva accord for political prisoners. ACAS also worked with other progressive organizations opposed to the Rugby tours and to protest the recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) substantial loan to South Africa. Last year, the ACAS Newsletter carried important articles on counter insurgency research undertaken in the U.S., South African efforts to destabilize Mozambique and the neighboring nations, and first-hand analysis of the social and economic transformation in Zimbabwe. ACAS also intervened to help make certain that Sharon Sopher’s important document, "Blood and Sand: War in the Sahara," was not taken off the Public Broadcasting Stations. ACAS also wrote to a number of map companies indicating that their new maps which depict the "Bantustans" as independent countries and ex-Spanish Sahara as part of Morocco were factually inaccurate and would not be considered for classroom use by our members.
Used by permission of several co-chairs of the Association of Concerned Africa Scholars.
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers