Africa Information Service

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Duration: 1972 - 1975
Location: New York, New York, United States

The Africa Information Service (AIS) was founded by a number of African-American activists, including Prexy Nesbitt (based in Chicago) and Robert F. Van Lierop (based in New York). AIS grew out of the Mozambique Film Project. It was also a successor to the Africa Research Group of Boston, which transferred its archives to AIS. AIS was an organization of Africans, African-Caribbeans and African-Americans who shared a commitment to Third World anti-imperialist struggles. AIS prepared, cataloged, and distributed information about African liberation movements and the struggles to achieve economic independence by the people in those parts of Africa recognized as independent political states. AIS also provided the people of Africa with information on various struggles being waged by Third World peoples in the Western Hemisphere. While AIS focused on Africa, it recognized that African struggles did not exist in isolation, but were part of a broader global movement by Third World peoples. Among its various publications, AIS published Return to the Source: Selected Speeches of Amilcar Cabral, in 1973. Most of the archives and records of AIS were lost when its landlord evicted ZANU (PF), which was utilizing the office through a friendly sub-tenancy. The landlord disposed of most of the contents of the files and library, except for what Mr. Van Lierop managed to retrieve from a garbage barge sitting in the Hudson River. (Source: A Discussion Guide for the Film A Luta Continua [Africa Information Service, 1973]; interviews with Prexy Nesbitt and Robert Van Lierop on the No Easy Victories website; and Robert F. Van Lierop)