Washington Office on Africa

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All (649) | Documents (632) | Photographs (17)

Duration: 1966 – 1994
Location: Washington, DC, United States
Newsletter: Just Faith and Action
Washington Notes on Africa

The Washington Office on Africa (WOA) was founded in 1972 to support the movement for freedom from white-minority rule in southern Africa. It was initially sponsored by five organizations including the American Committee on Africa. It grew out of the Washington Office of the American Committee on Africa. Its activities have included the monitoring of Congressional legislation and executive policies and actions, as well as the publication of action alerts and other documentation designed to advance progressive legislation and policy on southern Africa. Supported by church bodies and unions, the WOA has worked in partnership with colleagues in Africa, the Africa advocacy community in the United States, and grassroots organizations concerned with various aspects of African affairs. The WOA convened the Southern Africa Working Group, starting in the mid-1970s. This group was designed to organize advocacy work on U.S. policy toward southern Africa by U.S. organizations concerned about these issues. The group consisted mostly of Washington, D.C.-based representatives of such organizations.

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Related Archive
Title: South African apartheid collection
Time Span: 1961 - 1991
Media: 30 linear feet
Description: Most records are from 1985-1988. Includes information on South African non-Parliamentary opposition groups and U.S. and other anti-apartheid organizations. The collection documents the apartheid system in South Africa and the different stages of the liberation struggle which was instrumental in bringing about the decline of the system. The collection consists of printed materials such as newsclippings, publications, reports, press releases, newsletters, pamphlets and newspapers of the South African government, parliamentary parties, non-parliamentary groups such as the African National Congress, and American and other foreign groups. Arranged in nine series and additions: I. South African Government, 1961-1991. II. South African Parliamentary Parties, 1961-1991. III. Non-Parliamentary/Opposition/ Resistance Groups, 1961-1991. IV. South African Institutes and Foundations, 1966-1991. V American Government Policy Towards South Africa, 1974-1988. VI. Disinvestment/ Divestment, 1978-1987. VII. American Anti-Apartheid Pressure Groups, 1972-1991. VIII. International Pressure Groups, 1963-1991. IX. Posters and Printed Materials, 1970-1990. Series VI, DISINVESTMENT/DIVESTMENT, includes newsletters and reports of American organizations and institutions which have not only publicly opposed apartheid, but have also developed schemes to improve the welfare of black South Africans. One of the most effective strategies was to withdraw investments from South Africa. Hence, this series is a source for the divestment/disinvestment issue and its effectiveness as a strategy for change in the country. Many universities, especially Yale and Stanford, were at the forefront of this campaign. Additional material on this strategy can be found in Series IX. Series VII, AMERICAN ANTI-APARTHEID ORGANIZATIONS, is a fairly large series which focuses on the role of numerous American groups in removing racial oppression in South Africa. Through their newsletters, publications and campaigns, these organizations aimed not only to bring to the attention of the American people the plight of the oppressed, but also to design strategies to build the momentum for legislative action against South Africa. Of particular importance are the files of The Africa Fund, American Committee on Africa, Episcopal Church People for a Free Southern Africa, and the Washington Office on Africa. Through their work these groups were successful in providing medical, financial, and moral assistance to black South Africans and in ultimately influencing American corporate and government policy towards South Africa. Their publications, reports, and newsletters are a good source for information on the violence that was perpetrated in South Africa, especially in Natal. Series VIII, INTERNATIONAL PRESSURE GROUPS, contains material which focuses on the pressure exerted by non-American groups and their respective government on South Africa to bring an end to apartheid. Although most of these groups are based in Europe, the work of the British anti-apartheid organizations dominates these series.
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Restrictions: Unknown, contact in advance

Related Archive
Title: George M. Houser Africa collection
Time Span: 1950s - 1999
Media: 10 boxes, documents, correspondence, photographs, posters, audio material
Description: Covers most countries of Africa, and includes notes on George M. Houser’s many trips to Africa (such as 1960, 1961, 1967, 1972, 1973 (Guinea-Bissau), 1974, 1975/6 (Lusaka, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde), 1978, 1979 (Western Sahara and Algeria), 1981 (taped), 1983, 1989 (Namibia). Major organizations covered include American Committee on Africa (ACOA), The Africa Fund, Africa Action, American Negro Leadership Conference on Africa, and International Defence and Aid Fund. Houser was a founder of ACOA and served as Executive Director from 1955-1981. Houser was Executive Director of ACOA's associate organization The Africa Fund from its founding in 1966 to 1981. ACOA and The Africa were based in New York City but worked nationally in the country and with organizations with similar goals in other countries as well as with liberation movements and leaders in many African countries. The collection includes audio of interviews Houser conducted in South Africa in 1954 with Z.K. Matthews, Kasavello Goonam, Walter Sisulu, Manilal Gandhi, Patrick Duncan and Chief Albert Luthuli. Some of the many correspondents include Julius Nyerere, Joshua Nkomo, Kanyama Chiume, Martin Luther King, Victoria Chitepo, Mary-Louise Hooper, Piet Koornhof (South African Ambassador), George W. Shepherd, and David H. Anthony. Also included are 12 original cassette tapes of interviews by George Houser and Herbert Shore with African National Congress (ANC) leader Walter Sisulu recorded September 20-26 1995, which formed the basis for the book I will go singing : Walter Sisulu speaks of his life and the struggle for freedom in South Africa / in conversation with George M. Houser & Herbert Shore (Cape Town : Robben Island Museum in association with the Africa Fund, New York, 2001). This collection forms part of the African Activist Archive collections. Material deposited by George M. Houser.
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: http://www.lib.msu.edu/spc/index/

Related Archive
Title: Jean Sindab papers
Time Span: 1970 - 1995
Media: 13 linear feet (31 boxes)
Description: Dr. Jean Sindab (1944-1996) was an African American scholar and activist for environmental, social, and racial justice. The Jean Sindab papers date from 1970 to 1995 and contain professional files that document subjects of interest to Sindab; organizations for which she worked; conferences that she organized or attended; and local, grassroots, and governmental initiatives related to environmental and racial justice in the United States, Latin America, and Africa. The collection also holds travel diaries and appointment books. Among her scholarly affiliations were the African Studies Association (ASA) and the Association of Concerned African Scholars (ACAS). Throughout her studies and career, Sindab traveled extensively around Europe and to several countries in Africa, including Ghana, Nigeria, Namibia, Togo, and Zambia. In 1980, Sindab was appointed executive director of the Washington Office on Africa (WOA) and the Washington Office on Africa Education Fund (WOAEF). From 1986 to 1991, she was executive secretary of the Programme to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches (WCC), in Geneva, Switzerland. In the United States, her roles at the National Council of Churches (NCC), where she worked from 1992 to 1996, included program director of the Economic and Environmental Prophetic Justice Unit, the Justice/Hunger Concerns Unit, and the Eco-Justice Working Group. She served on the boards of several organizations, including the Peace Development Fund, the New World Foundation, and the Third World Women's Project for the Institute for Policy Studies.

Housed At: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
Location: The New York Public Library, 515 Malcolm X Boulevard, New York, NY 10037-1801, United States
Catalog/Finding Aid: view
Phone: (212) 491-2200
Related Website: https://www.nypl.org/locations/schomburg