History detectives hunt for Anti-Apartheid activists of Nottinghamshire

Anti-apartheid demo in Nottingham’s Old Market Square, April 1988.Photo © John Birdsall Social Issues

Historians at the University of Nottingham are trying to trace people who were involved in the local and regional campaign against racial apartheid in South Africa from the 1960s to the early 1990s.

It’s part of a new research project aiming to fill a significant gap in the recorded history of protest and dissent for which the city and county are globally famous.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison – an event that was a defining moment in the victory of the anti-apartheid campaign in South Africa and across the world.

The research team hopes to create a new chapter in local history by revealing the stories of activism that took place in and around Nottingham, and to preserve those stories in an exhibition and archives for future generations.

Statue of Nelson Mandela

The British Anti-Apartheid Movement played a crucial role in the global campaign against racial segregation in South Africa for three decades before Mandela’s release and eventual election as President. The British movement had its headquarters in London but was supported by a wide network of regional branches, including Nottingham, which organised protest activity at a local level. These branches also co-operated with local trade unions, political parties, church groups and other voluntary organisations in support of the cause.

Dr Kate Law, Department of History

Dr Kate Law, from the University’s Department of History, said: “When we looked into the archives

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