Confronting Apartheid: Black Women’s Internationalism in South Africa and the United States

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the US and the Rhodes Must Fall/Fees Must Fall protests in South Africa have sparked transnational dialogues that stress the need for a global analysis of racial oppression. This chapter demonstrates how an earlier generation of activists challenged racial oppression on both sides of the Atlantic. Specifically, it will trace the key role Black women played in connecting anti-racist activism in the United States and South Africa during the early years of apartheid. Eslanda Goode Robeson, Frieda Matthews, and groups such as the Sojourners for Truth and Justice and Federation of South African Women, all advanced a form of anticolonial politics that called attention to race, gender and class oppression across national borders. Through their travels, exchanges and community activism, each of these remarkable women defied the repressive power of the state to play a vital role in building the global anti-apartheid movement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Black Women’s Cultural Histories
Subtitle of host publicationAcross the Diaspora, From Ancient Times to the Present
EditorsJanell Hobson
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2021

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