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.
Listed in: Biography, Activists · African American Studies · African History · African Studies
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.
For more than half a century before World War II, black South Africans and “American Negroes“ — a group that included African Americans and black West Indians — established close institutional and personal relationships that laid the necessary groundwork for the successful South African and American antiapartheid movements. The Americans Are Coming! is a rare case study that places African history and American history in a global context and centers Africa in African Diaspora studies.
“Vinson stresses that though Garveyism germinated in the U.S., its broad tenets found fertile ground in South Africa…where South Africans exploited it in numerous ways to fight racism.”