Winning Our Freedoms Together

African Americans and Apartheid, 1945–1960

By Nicholas Grant

Winning Our Freedoms Together

324 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 11 halftones, notes, bibl., index

  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-3528-6
    Published: November 2017
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-3527-9
    Published: November 2017

Justice, Power, and Politics

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In this transnational account of black protest, Nicholas Grant examines how African Americans engaged with, supported, and were inspired by the South African anti-apartheid movement. Bringing black activism into conversation with the foreign policy of both the U.S. and South African governments, this study questions the dominant perception that U.S.-centered anticommunism decimated black international activism. Instead, by tracing the considerable amount of time, money, and effort the state invested into responding to black international criticism, Grant outlines the extent to which the U.S. and South African governments were forced to reshape and occasionally reconsider their racial policies in the Cold War world.

This study shows how African Americans and black South Africans navigated transnationally organized state repression in ways that challenged white supremacy on both sides of the Atlantic. The political and cultural ties that they forged during the 1940s and 1950s are testament to the insistence of black activists in both countries that the struggle against apartheid and Jim Crow were intimately interconnected.

About the Author

Nicholas Grant is a lecturer in American studies at the University of East Anglia.
For more information about Nicholas Grant, visit the Author Page.

Reviews

“In this engaging transnational history, Grant not only demonstrates the connections between the freedom struggles of African Americans and black South Africans, but also illuminates how and why these transnational linkages formed. Conceptually innovative and deeply grounded in archival work across multiple continents, this study weaves a fascinating story that will be a valuable resource for present and future scholars.”--Robert Trent Vinson, author of The Americans Are Coming!

“In this important new work, Grant has delved into an impressive array of sources to provide deeper understanding of the links and transnational conversations of black South Africans and African Americans. Around every corner, there are valuable arguments and interesting insights into the linkages between these movements.”—James H. Meriwether, author of Proudly We Can Be Africans

“A superb study of the black international traffic between the civil rights and anti-apartheid struggles, Winning Our Freedoms Together joins a handful of transnational works on U.S. and South African history that thoroughly engage the archival traces of the freedom struggle on both sides of the Atlantic. Equally attentive to Cold War state collusion and transnational black activism across a wide political spectrum, this book provides a highly original blend of two areas of scholarship often pursued separately. It will be hard to think of the global anti-apartheid movement and the racial politics of the Cold War in the same way after reading this book.”--Alex Lichtenstein, Indiana University