Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa

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Alternate Names: Madison Anti-Apartheid Coalition
Duration: 1968 - 1992
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States
Newsletter: M.A.C.S.A. News

The Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa (MACSA) was a community-based organization that included students and faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It was formed in the fall of 1968 to lobby and educate the university and community about Southern Africa, to support sanctions on minority regimes in Southern Africa, and to provide assistance to liberation movements. The first office was located at the University YWCA. MACSA began a newsletter in 1969 and published two widely distributed pamphlets, Israel and South Africa and Is Southern Africa Wisconsin's Business? One early campaign supported Phyllis Jordan, a South African anti-apartheid activist, who was threatened with deportation following the death of her husband A.C. Jordan, a faculty member in African languages and literature. One campaign resulted in the divestment of holdings in South African businesses by the University of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Retirement Investment Trust after the State Attorney General advised on the possible illegality of investments in discriminatory corporations abroad. MACSA picketed, supported boycotts of South African products or companies that did business in South Africa, protested South African government propaganda in Wisconsin, and raised funds for African liberation movements. In the 1970s MACSA also sponsored guest speakers such as Prexy Nesbitt and representatives of African liberation movements including the African National Congress of South Africa (Oliver Tambo, Albie Sachs); Zimbabwe (Nathan Shamuyarira); and Frelimo of Mozambique (Sharfudine Khan, Armando Guebuza). During its first years MACSA efforts focused on Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and Namibia, on which it organized a regional conference. After the African colonies of Portugal gained independence, MACSA concentrated its efforts on South Africa. Following the Soweto uprising in 1976, MACSA petition drives and lobbying resulted in the Wisconsin Attorney General's advisory opinion on investments in companies which racially discriminated abroad, which resulted in the University of Wisconsin's decision to divest its investments in South African corporations. In 1985 the committee reorganized as the Madison Anti-Apartheid Coalition (MAAC). MAAC supported the fight against apartheid in South Africa as well as worked with the Mozambique Support Network and the National Namibia Concerns Committee. (Sources: David Wiley, William Minter and Wisconsin State Historical Society.)

Organizational Archive

Title: Madison Anti-Apartheid Coalition
Time Span: 1968 - 1992
Media: 1.6 cubic feet. (3 archives boxes, 3 card boxes, and 1 flat box), 10 photos, 10 transparencies
Description: Records, mainly 1970-1973 and 1987-1991, of the Madison Anti-Apartheid Coalition (originally called the Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa (MACSA)). Included are minutes and background information, correspondence, financial records, promotional records, several research publications, photographic copies of posters, and miscellaneous files. The correspondence includes contacts with churches, labor organizations, and national organizations such as the North American Anti-Imperialist Coalition. Promotional records include flyers and handbills, posters, position papers, and information on publication sales. There is also documentation on two other local organizations with related interests in South Africa: the Free Namibia Committee and the African Students Union.
Housed At: Wisconsin Historical Society
Location: 816 State St., Madison, WI 53706, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Phone: 608-264-6400
Related Website:

Related Archives

Related Archive
Title: Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa papers
Time Span: 1969 - 1978
Media: 2 boxes, the collection includes newsletters, leaflets, pamphlets, mailings, and correspondence.
Description: Publications and other materials of the Madison Area Committee on Southern Africa (MACSA). The MACSA materials document many educational campaigns, fundraising campaigns for liberation movements in Southern Africa, and campaigns concerning South Africa including divestment by the University of Wisconsin. There are 28 issues of the MACSA newsletter, M.A.C.S.A. News. There also is one file folder of materials from the Committee on Southern Africa of the First Congregational Church in Madison from 1971 to 1973. There was some overlap in membership of MACSA and the Committee on Southern Africa. The archive was deposited by David Wiley who was a member of MACSA but was not resident in Wisconsin for the whole period covered by the archive. There is no MACSA material for 1974 although the organization was active that year.
Housed At: Michigan State University Libraries, Special Collections
Location: 100 Library, East Lansing, MI 48824, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Phone: 517-353-8700
Related Website: