“This volume…enhances our understanding of Lembede and his thought…This book will be valuable to scholars with research interests in the history of African nationalism.”
Nancy J. Jacobs, The International Journal of African Historical Studies
When a group of young political activists met in 1944 to launch the African National Congress Youth League, it included the nucleus of a remarkable generation of leaders who forged the struggle for freedom and equality in South Africa for the next half century: Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, Jordan Ngubane, Ellen Kuzwayo, Albertina Smith, A. P. Mda, Dan Tloome, and David Bopape. It was Anton Lembede, however whom they chose as their first president.
Lembede, who had just begun practicing law in Johannesburg, was known for his sharp intellect, fiery personality, and unwavering commitment to the struggle at hand. The son of farm laborers from the district of Georgedale, Natal, Lembede had worked tirelessly to put himself through school and college, and then to qualify for the bachelor of laws degree. When he began law practice in 1943, he had also earned the respect of his fellows, not only for his intellectual achievements (which were many), but also for his dedication to the cause of freedom in South Africa. “I am,” he explained, “Africa’s own child.”
His untimely death in 1947 at the age of 33 sent a wave of grief through the Congress Youth, who had looked to him for moral as well as political leadership. With the publication of Freedom In Our Lifetime, the editors acknowledge Lembede’s early contribution to the freedom movement, in particular his passionate and eloquent articulation of the African-centered philosophy he called “Africanism.”
Robert R. Edgar is professor of African studies at Howard University and the editor of An African American in South Africa: The Travel Notes of Ralph J. Bunche, also available from Ohio University Press. More info →
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The first African statesman to achieve world recognition was Kwame Nkrumah (1909-1972), who became president of the new Republic of Ghana in 1960. He campaigned ceaselessly for African solidarity and for the liberation of southern Africa from white settler rule. His greatest achievement was to win the right of black peoples in Africa to have a vote and to determine their own destiny.He turned a dream of liberation into a political reality.
“If you really want to understand South Africa, read black African writers. Read Es‘kia Mphahlele,” is the advice proffered to diplomats and scholars by professor and publisher Donald Herdeck.The irony is that in the past, many of Mphahlele’s works were out of print or banned under censorship laws in South Africa from the early 1950s on.
Individual Freedoms and State Security in the African Context
The Case of Zimbabwe
By John Hatchard
In 1980 the ZANU/PF government of Robert Mugabe came to power after an extended war of liberation. They inherited a cluster of emergency laws similar to those available to the authorities in South Africa. It was also the beginning of the cynical South African state policy of destabilization of the frontline states. This led to a dangerous period of insurrection in Mashonaland and increased activity by Renamo.Dr.
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