In an excellent addition to the Ohio Short Histories of Africa series, Robert Trent Vinson recovers the important but largely forgotten story of Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel Peace Prize winner and president of the African National Congress from 1952 to 1967. One of the most respected African leaders, Luthuli linked South African antiapartheid politics with other movements, becoming South Africa’s leading advocate of Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent civil disobedience techniques. He also framed apartheid as a crime against humanity and thus linked South African antiapartheid struggles with international human rights campaigns.
Unlike previous studies, this book places Luthuli and the South African antiapartheid struggle in new global contexts, and aspects of Luthuli’s leadership that were not previously publicly known: Vinson is the first to use new archival evidence, numerous oral interviews, and personal memoirs to reveal that Luthuli privately supported sabotage as an additional strategy to end apartheid. This multifaceted portrait will be indispensable to students of African history and politics and nonviolence movements worldwide.
(Athens, OH: Ohio University Press, 2018)
As Robert Vinson highlights “When Albert Luthuli; president of the African National Congress (ANC). South Africa’s leading anti apartheid organization; became the first African-born recipe ant of the Nobel Peace Prize in December 1961; the world celebrated his advocacy of nonviolent civil disobedience. The prize signaled international recognition for his Gandhian strategy to end apartheid; South Africa’s disastrous white supremist political policy of racial subordination; and separation and connected South Africa’s antiapartheid struggle to the growing global human rights campaigns.
It propelled Luthuli to global celebrity and raised the profile of the ANC; which he had led since 1952. The ANC would survive lethal state repression in the late 1960s; and throughout two ensuing decades. As a mass organization, it articulated a broad; inclusive African nationalism and led the Congress Alliance, a multiracial; milti-ideological antiapartheid coalition that shared Luthuli’s vision of a nonracial, democratic, equitable South Africa.
Author: Robert Trent Vinson
Paperback : 192 pages.
Publisher : Ohio University Press (August 9, 2018).
About the Author
Robert Trent Vinson is the Frances L. and Edwin L. Cummings Associate Professor of History, Africana Studies and International Relations at the College of William and Mary. He is the author of The Americans Are Coming!: Dreams of African American Liberation in Segregationist South Africa.